After a long stretch of holding down the third seed in the win-challenged Eastern Conference, the Atlanta Hawks have encountered slippage consistent with losing their best player.
However, recently Atlanta has been awful. Before their Feb. 22 victory over the New York Knicks, the Hawks went on an eight-game losing streak. The first three losses were close ones to the Indiana Pacers, the New Orleans Pelicans, and the Memphis Grizzlies, but the last five losses of their streak were the most alarming.
During that span, they gave up at least 100 points per game. All of these losses were to Eastern Conference teams with playoff aspirations. To put it simply, these were games the Hawks needed to show they could at least be competitive in, and they were not. They were blown out in all of them.
Now, as the season begins to wind down and playoff spots become more difficult to grasp, the currently seventh-seeded Hawks must ask even more out of their players. With the trade deadline madness now over, here are seven of the Hawks players who must step up for their remaining games.