The Hawks are currently riding a four game win streak as they enter the last week and a half of the regular season before beginning the playoffs. They currently sit firmly entrenched at fifth in the standings and by all accounts will probably still be there after the 82nd game is played. I'm not sure about the rest of you, but that's just fine by me as it would mean that Orlando would most likely be our first round opponent. If I had to pick, that's the team I think the Hawks can take in a seven game series. Orlando made some, in my opinion, questionable trades earlier this year that really changed the landscape of their team and, to an extent, how they play, all of which favor the Hawks in a match-up with the Magic.
However, until then, the Hawks still have six games left to play, three against some quality teams and three against some lesser teams. After watching the Hawks beat Orlando and Boston this week, it looks like they are coming together at the right time. This team has been wildly inconsistent over the course of the season and one can only hope that the team of the last four games will be the team that shows up in the playoffs. Houston, San Antonio, and Miami all present different challenges for the Hawks, yet I believe that all three are beatable. It probably won't happen, but it could be done. The other three (Indiana, Washington, & Charlotte) shouldn't be much of a problem so long as the Hawks players don't get complacent.
I'm well known to be rather pessimistic when it comes to this team, but I'm making the attempt to stay positive throughout these few final games because the playoffs is where it counts most. I, like many others, know that this team can beat anyone when they put their knuckleheads into it so I'm going to keep telling myself that and just try to enjoy the wins when we get them. Once the playoffs begin, I'll get much more serious about this team and where it stands. I believe that this team can make it out of the first round, but I know it will be a struggle because they have the tendency to basically give up once they get down. I would say that a first round exit, while not all that surprising, would still be a major disappointment. If they make it to the second round and get swept, that's going to be a huge, upsetting disappointment. Not making it out of the second round wouldn't bother me, but not competing or giving up would just piss me off. Sorry, it would and you can expect a major backlash from the fans, the mainstream media, and every other writer like myself.
But hey, none of that has happened yet so let's all stay positive and let's all support this team. I encourage everyone who is capable to attend the Spurs and Heat games at home. I'll be looking for playoff tickets when the time comes and hopefully I'll see some of you guys there. GO HAWKS!