Atlanta Hawks

NBA Power Rankings: Atlanta Hawks sliding again

The 2016-17 season continues to be a roller coaster ride for the Atlanta Hawks and this past week was a great example with a big road win in Toronto being sandwiched by home losses to Orlando and Charlotte. A 1-2 week once again has Atlanta trending downward in this week’s Power Rankings roundup:

Marc Stein gets things off and running this week dropping the Hawks two spots to No. 18.

Coach Mike Budenholzer got a brief respite from the Hawks’ roller coaster Sunday, when the longtime former Spurs assistant coach made a brief detour to San Antonio for the Tim Duncan jersey retirement ceremony. A jarring return to the real world awaits Monday night in Oklahoma City against Russell Westbrook, with Atlanta still in the throes of a 4-12 nosedive. The Hawks actually responded to the debacle that was Orlando 131, Atlanta 120 about as well as they could, by winning their next game in Toronto, but the team continues to slide in the defensive efficiency standings (down to ninth) while looking less than harmonious at the other end.

NBA.com’s John Schuhmann follows Stein’s lead and also drops Atlanta two spots to No. 18 this week.

On Tuesday, the Hawks allowed Orlando’s bottom five offense to have its best offensive game of the season. Three nights later, they were the first non-Cleveland Eastern Conference team to beat the Raptors, scoring more efficiently against Toronto than the Cavs did in any of their three wins. With their new starting lineup scoring 127 points per 100 possessions over the last five games, the Hawks have quickly evolved from good defensive team that struggled to score to a good offensive team that struggles to get stops. They led the league in defensive efficiency on Dec. 1 and have already fallen to ninth on that end of the floor.

Matt Moore reverses the trend and bumps Atlanta up two spots to No. 14 this week after their big win in Toronto.

They beat the Raptors, and lost to the Magic and Hornets. The Hawks are like a plane trying to find the horizon line without optics right now.

Pro Basketball Talk’s Kurt Helin isn’t buying it however and drops Atlanta three spots this week to No. 20.

The Hawks had an impressive win over the Raptors on the road, but also fell to both the Magic and Hornets last week. Nothing is consistent about this team, well except that their defense is no longer elite. They started the season 9-2, have gone 4-12 since, and it feels like they are more the latter team than the former.

Finally, The Crossover’s Jeremy Woo sums up Atlanta’s season to date probably as well as anyone.

It kind of seemed like this was going to work out…but that was in early November.

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