Currently standing fourth in the Eastern Conference, the Atlanta Hawks have the most dangerous roster, with various three point studs and depth at every position. With a fairly young team, the veteran leadership of Jamal Crawford, Mike Bibby, Joe Johnson, and Joe Smith continue to keep the Hawks' road to the playoffs and championship on track.
The three teams that are currently ahead of the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference standings are: the Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Orlando Magic. This year the Hawks have beaten the Celtics each of the four times they battled. This is good momentum to carry against the Celtics into the playoffs, if they see them eventually down the road.
The Hawks have lost both times they played against the Cavs, but Atlanta will have two more games to redeem themselves figure out Cleveland. The Next times these top contenders meet will be on April 2nd and April 14th, which will be the Hawks final regular season game.
The team that the Hawks have struggled with the most this season is the Orlando Magic, being that they have lost 3 times to the organization. It seems like the Hawks can play with every other team except the Magic. If they can limit Dwight Howard's touches, and give their veterans the freedom to shoot the three at will, then the Hawks should be in good shape. For some reason they haven't figured out a way to stop Dwight Howard, who has put up extremely impressive numbers against the Hawks this season: 21.7 points, 14.3 rebounds, and 3.3 blocks per game. Howard works hard every game and he will be hard to contain, but Al Horford should have a revised plan after seeing him in 3 games already.
For the Hawks to be the elite team of the Eastern Conference, Al Horford must step up. This season he has proven to be inconsistent on the offensive end. He needs to contribute more often, as well as attack the offense boards every time he doesn't get the ball. So far this season is less then satisfactory for Horford posting 14.0 PPG, 9.4 RPG, and 1.1 BPG.
I know a lot of people probably think that if the Atlanta Hawks faced the Cavs in the playoffs they would probably lose, but I beg to differ. Although Lebron may be difficult to stop, the Atlanta Hawks have some great young talent along with some incredible veterans that are pretty solid defensively.
It's obvious the Atlanta Hawks are pretty good being that their fourth best team in the Conference, but it seems like they aren't given a shot when it comes to championship talk. Just remember, when it comes playoff time and people start to talk about the best eastern conference team, do not count out the Atlanta Hawks.