By Stefan Anderson
Following their postseason trip where they battled the #1 seed Indiana Pacers, into 7 games, the world was not on notice of how the Hawks could be build off of their success of the past, including myself. Well the Hawks are taking the league by stand again and could continue to be a force to reckon with.
The Hawks have managed to string together their last 22 of 24 games and doing it in a fashionable form. Knocking off the top tier of NBA teams in route to gaining the Eastern Conference’s best record, wins like at Cleveland, Dallas, Portland, Houston and LA, also conquering the top teams in the East, Washington and Chicago.
Atlanta has been on a tear as of late, which is surprising to most but makes sense to those who understand their style of play. With one All-Star in Pau Millsap, the Hawks do not rely on a superstar play to lead them they do it collectively.
With all five starters of Atlanta averaging double digits, they all remain second in the league with 25.4 assists per game. Under the guidance of Mike Budenholzer, a longtime assistant of Greg Popovich, the Hawks resemble the modern day Spurs, with playing great team ball and stingy defense, 4th in team defense, to win games but also providing a faster pace unlike San Antonio.
There is an old cliché that states that players play when under a contract year, with the Hawks having new ownership rumors floating around some might speculate that would be what is inspiring their latest stretch.
Whether that is true or not, Atlanta is have put together a formula to make that next step this season and I can see them knocking off a team that would have an upper advantage against them in the postseason.