Power Rankings: Hawks Surging With A Month Left
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The Hawks were seemingly reeling with a three-game losing streak (in which they allowed 60 3-pointers) that culminated with a blown 15-point lead to Golden State and some on-court bickering between Dennis Schroder and Dwight Howard on Monday. But they've since won three straight, holding the Nets, Raptors and Grizzlies all under a point per possession, even though Howard sat out Saturday's game in Memphis. Schroder has averaged 24.3 points over the three games, getting half of his shots (27/54) at the rim and finishing well (67 percent) when he's got there. He ranks third in the league, behind Isaiah Thomas and Goran Dragic, with 12.1 drives per game.
Milwaukee (six straight wins) and Washington (five) are in the midst of the the league's longest active win streaks, so Atlanta's comparatively modest three-gamer isn't likely to attract much attention. But it was a big week nonetheless for Hawks point guard Dennis Schroder, who finally gave us something to talk about besides his late return from the All-Star break ... or that missed bus in Orlando ... or the recent on-court beefing with Dwight Howard. Schroder followed up a 31-point outburst in a too-close-for-comfort home win over the Nets with 26 points, six boards and five assists in a handy home win two nights later over Toronto. Atlanta is 9-1 this season when the mercurial Schroder has scored 25 points or more.
Atlanta is very much a "sure" team. Can they get homecourt in the first round? Sure. Can they win a playoff series? Sure. Can they get crushed? Sure. Can they re-sign Millsap this summer? Sure. You just don't really believe in much of it.
Atlanta’s been rather up and down, but they’ve won three in a row and are challenging Toronto in the standings. A beefier bench has helped a bit, with Ersan Ilyasova and Tim Hardaway Jr. producing big, balancing lineups and letting Thabo Sefolosha move into the starting unit for defense. They’re just tricky to peg right now.
The Hawks, who head to San Antonio on Monday night, are riding a three-game winning streak, highlighted by a dominant 107-90 win over the Grizzlies in Memphis on Saturday.
"I think that's every team's goal — to be on a roll going into the postseason," rookie forward Taurean Prince told reporters after the win. "That's what we want to do. We want to keep this streak going."
If there are any further disagreements, the Hawks will be ready. Adding Jose Calderon on waivers gives them another option at the point if necessary.