Atlanta Hawks on Pace to Become NBA's Worst Playoff Team Since 1994-95

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Atlanta Hawks on Pace to Become NBA's Worst Playoff Team Since 1994-95
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The 32-41 Atlanta Hawks may not be a good basketball team, but that won't necessarily stop them from making history. With a .438 winning percentage through 73 games, Atlanta is on pace to become the NBA's worst playoff team since the 1994-95 Boston Celtics snuck into the postseason with a .427 winning percentage, per ESPN Stats & Info.

That Celtics team grabbed a No. 8 seed despite going 35-47, and two teams have since made the playoffs at 36-46.

The first of those 36-46 teams was a forgettable 1996-97 Los Angeles Clippers squad that got swept in the first round of the playoffs after posting a minus-2.3 average point differential during the regular season.

The 2003-04 Celtics were also swept in the first round following a 36-46 season, but they at least had a semi-respectable point differential of minus-1.4.

While this season's Hawks could very well join the ranks of the worst playoff teams in recent history, 35 or 36 wins would put them in danger of missing out entirely.

The 32-43 New York Knicks are just one game back of Atlanta for the Eastern Conference's eighth seed, and the 30-45 Cleveland Cavaliers are lurking three games back with a puncher's chance.

Somebody needs to take that final spot, if only to provide the Miami Heat or Indiana Pacers with a four-game warm-up for the second round.

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