Bad news: Hawks still should make the playoffs

Jabari Parker probably won't be a Hawk next season. (Gerry Broome/AP)

Jabari Parker probably won’t be a Hawk next season. (Gerry Broome/AP)

Checking the NBA standings, we find that the Atlanta Hawks occupy eighth place in the East. That’s the worst place to be. The eighth-place finisher makes the playoffs but gets to face the No. 1 seed — either Indiana or Miami — in Round 1, which means there would almost surely be no Round 2. The eighth-place finisher also misses the draft lottery, which is much the bigger deal.

Jabari Parker probably won't be a Hawk next season. (Gerry Broome/AP)

Jabari Parker probably won’t be a Hawk next season. (Gerry Broome/AP)

According to John Hollinger’s playoff odds, available on ESPN.com, the Hawks have a 1.1 percent chance of reaching the NBA finals. Also according to Chad Ford’s ESPN mock draft lottery, the No. 9 finisher in the East — currently Cleveland — would have an 0.8 percent chance of winning the No. 1 pick. Those are terrible odds either way, but the 1.1 percent seems way too optimistic. (Does anyone see the Hawks winning three consecutive playoff series? Heck, does anyone see the Hawks in their weakened state winning two playoff games?)

All things considered, you’d rather try your lottery luck than test your chances against LeBron James. But here’s the truly sobering part: Even with the Hawks in nose-dive mode — they’ve lost 11 of 12 and still must face Portland, Golden State and the Clippers on this Western swing — the odds are against them falling out of eighth place. They still hold a 3 1/2-game lead over both Cleveland and Detroit, neither of which shows much inclination of making a charge. The Pistons have lost seven of eight, the Cavaliers four of six.

Back to Hollinger’s playoff odds: Despite dropping 11 of 12, the Hawks have an 84.1 percent chance of making the playoffs. In a season that has seen them lose Al Horford, John Jenkins and Gustavo Ayon to season-ending surgery and has seen Paul Millsap and Pero Antic miss extended time, that might be construed as an accomplishment. But if you care more about the Hawks going forward than in the here and now — and Danny Ferry, the general manager, surely does — mightn’t you rather take your shot with that 0.8 chance of winning the right to draft Andrew Wiggins or Joel Embiid or Jabari Parker?

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37 comments
devounknown1000
devounknown1000

STARTER


TEAGUE, MELO, MILSAP, HORFORD, GORTAT


BENCH


LOU, KORVER, CARROLL,SCOTT, ARIC


GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

akil
akil

Mikes777 said it, without a presense in the middle none the college stars will make much different for the Hawks. Again, drafting a star SG or SF will improve the team, but not to point ofbeing a contender. The Answer is:

Pick either Al or Milsap at PF, trade the other to Houston for Asik and their 2nd round pick. Houston has to throw in 2nd round pick to offset Asik's 1 year of  $15mil. The Hawks simply sale the pick for Cash.

Asik, BeBe

Al or Milsap, Muscula, FA big man

1st pick, Dread Head, Scott

KK, Lou, JJ

Teague, Dennis, Mack

Asik's salary is offset by the trade of Al or Milsap and by not resigning Brand's 4 mil per year deal.

On paper this team is stronger than any draft possibilities and way under the salary cap!

-sting-
-sting-

hard to believe the east is soooo bad a team can head to the finish line losing what may be 16/17, never be more than 3-4 games above .500 and still make the playoffs. talk about limping in and with all the injuries it wont possibly translate into a lottery seat.

nba needs to take the incentive out of being bad period as part of "a competitive stance". it could be done by making fewer chances available for failure and continue the lottery through the whole of the draft. it is a mockery. too much emphasis on targeting positions in the lottery rather than moving up the standings.

atl bad luck.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

Well, we are talking NBA here, not sure its possible to miss the playoffs if you still have a pulse.  If they would just eliminate the bottom 50% from the playoffs, the season might end by Jun or Jul or whatever. 

Born2Buzz
Born2Buzz

Please continue with the tanking Hawks.  I know Woody and the Knicks want to make a run and get that 8th spot.

This is the year to be in the lottery.  There will be plenty of good players in the draft that could really help this team.

MikeS777
MikeS777

Jabari Parker is NOT going to help this Hawks team.  Haven't we just been down the road of collecting 6'8" bodies?  It doesn't work unless you have a legit center in the middle.  


The Hawks need to solidify the center position for the first time since Mutombo was in uniform.  Someone who can legitimately be an enforcing presence in the middle and bring at least some pretty good offense as well.  Motumbo's first 12 seasons, he averaged double figures on offense all but one year with the Hawks.  He averaged double figure rebounds and was among the league leaders in blocks.


That's what the Hawks need.  A big body at Center who is productive at both ends, with Horford back at his natural PF and Milsap rotating in.  Then you get Jenkins, Williams, Korver, and Teague on the outside.   

WhiskeyBreath
WhiskeyBreath

By the way MB, you are a lot better calling something  like it is , than a rainbow maker.

You basically have a conscience and rainbow makers don't. Keep your distance from Chip.

By the way, you make a good case for the Hawks I was hoping the Falcons would just completely

tank for a high  draft choce.

AlwaysReady
AlwaysReady

A long winning streak would be good. 

DawgNight
DawgNight

Lottery picks is NOT the way this team will be building...forget the OLD MODEL of grabbing 1 superstar to take us to promise land. 

Coach Bud is building a solid squad loaded with solid players whom do it right NIGHT IN & NIGHT OUT.

You need to get off the "BIG NAMES" and just relax and let this staff work.

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

I have to laugh at a professional sport where teams routinely and systematically tank as a strategy or just plain don't care if they win games and make the playoffs. You expect me to FOLLOW this sport? Ha!

Part of the problem of course is the small number of players required to field a team.

This was utterly disgusting when it came up in regards to the 2013 Falcons. Much to their credit, I don't believe the Falcons intentionally tanked; too much evidence to the contrary.

TimW
TimW

Who are the Hawks and what sport do they play???

Snoop_Dawgy_Dawg
Snoop_Dawgy_Dawg

The hawks will be middle of the pack for the rest of my life

JChikara
JChikara

The Hawks can't tank because Boston gets their first round pick. Atlanta's best chance of getting in the lottery was to hope that Brooklyn continued to falter as they did earlier in the season. However the way the Nets are playing, they are going to win 50 games and the Hawks will be stuck with the 25th pick, so forget about the lottery. Atlanta's best chance to really becoming a threat in the future is to get Horford healthy and do a Godfather trade to a team with a disgruntled star. Or, trade Milsap, Teague, and even Korver in a package deal to a team like Phoenix and get their three first round picks so they can rebuild with some talent. 

RodfromCollegePark
RodfromCollegePark

"The really smart teams figured out that they would be annihilated in the playoffs and started tanking BEFORE the season. The Hawks are not a really smart team."

DING, DING.  All this basketball IQ, and so called intelligence, and they were not smart enought to realize they needed to tank?

Calel
Calel

The NBA allows FAR too many teams in its playoff tournament.

Wayne_stuck_in_AL
Wayne_stuck_in_AL

Personally speaking, I'd love for the Hawks to miss the playoffs so Gearon and Levenson won't get any playoff money.  That being said, if the Hawks do make the playoffs, I'd love to see them draw the Indiana Pacers so that: 1)they'll lose in either 4 or 5, and 2)the front-running Heat fans won't be buying tickets to cheer for LeBron.

green machine
green machine

i don't think this team should tank to avoid the first round matchup against indiana or miami.  I've watched every game the hawks have played this season.  i know you might think i don't have a life but for some reason i really enjoy watching this team play.  yes they outmanned, undersized, out-talenedted virtually every time they take the floor.  but unlike most other hawks teams that i have loved also, this team really doesn't care about all of that:  they simply don't quit, they play hard, they move the ball, until recently have played fairly decent defense and believe what you want-i think this coach is above average in a lot of areas.  will they beat miami or indiana this year in a playoff series?  No, but will they compete and give it every thing they've got for that entire series?  Yes!  In fact, they have beaten both of those teams this year already.  In fact too, they have beaten several other top tier teams in the NBA this season.  This team will only get better!  The system seems to be pretty good!  Maybe they pull another miracle "Boston" playoff series and get some interest from decent free agents.  If they show they can compete against these dudes in a 7 game series--who knows might at least think about coming here to play next year.  I liked what Mike Scott said yesterday about where the team might end up if the losing streak continues, Mike said, "if we have to play Miami or Indiana so be it."  This attitude to me let's me believe that even though they will be tremendous underdogs against those teams, the Hawks are no longer afraid of these dudes!  Remember it is the NBA and anything can happen!  Maybe James or a Paul George goes down in Game One.  I say, try to win every game you can and eventually good things will start happening.  Go Hawks!

Ald420
Ald420

The Hawks can't win for losing...

seminoleking
seminoleking

the nba lottery is fixed. the nba itself is fixed. its a travelling circus. WHEN the nba DECIDES they want atlanta to have a winning team, THEN things will fall into place. until, the sheeple keep hoping.........

JaySly
JaySly

the hawk should tank it and get in the lottery---they'll get swept in the first round

Demonbeck
Demonbeck

They wouldn't be in this predicament if they had drafted Chris Paul when they could have.  Instead they chose Marvin Williams for his "upside"

DaltonbywayofBickley
DaltonbywayofBickley

Yeah, they're not getting a franchise player in the draft. Not bad enough.

NajehDavenpoop
NajehDavenpoop

The really smart teams figured out that they would be annihilated in the playoffs and started tanking BEFORE the season. The Hawks are not a really smart team.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@DawgNight

Good luck with that plan.

Of the 34 NBA championship teams since Bird and Magic joined the league exactly one (the 2004 Pistons) has not had a "big name" player.

NajehDavenpoop
NajehDavenpoop

@JChikara  This is only half true. Boston actually gets the worse pick between the Hawks' pick and the Nets' pick and the Hawks get the better one. It is the Nets who are left without a first round pick.

RambleOn84
RambleOn84

@seminoleking  

Agree to a certain degree.  The lottery system in general is inherently flawed, and it has probably been fixed at least a few times in its history.


However, no one made Atlanta pick Marvin Williams.  Or Shelden Williams.  Or Josh Childress.   Or Jon Koncak.  Or give a max contract to Joe Johnson.  The list goes on and on...

KelvinFrazier
KelvinFrazier

@Demonbeck  Don't forget Sheldon Williams the following year for his inside presence and rebounding.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@NajehDavenpoop

You mean you don't think it is a coincidence that the Celtics traded Garnett and Pierce to Brooklyn for a bunch of bench warmers?  Oh - and the first round pics in 2014, 16 and 18.

Ainge knows what he is doing

jeffreyd
jeffreyd

@NajehDavenpoop  You're saying the Hawks should've tanked when they were 3rd in the conference with a healthy Horford et al?

Born2Buzz
Born2Buzz

@NajehDavenpoop @JChikara  Right, the Hawks can swap picks with the Nets if they want to (this year and next). Boston gets the Nets pick, no matter what.

JChikara
JChikara

@jeeperscrow Perhaps if you bothered to check the draft lineup you would see that Atlanta can't tank this year to get a high draft pick so they are stuck having no other choice but trying for the playoffs, of course a moron like yourself can't figure that out. God some people are so stupid!