The Hawks are the team in the NBA least likely to earn a repeat trip to the playoffs. Atlanta was the East's No. 5 seed last season and even knocked out the Magic in the first round. But that was largely smoke and mirrors. Atlanta had a negative efficiency differential, which means that based on scoring margin, the Hawks were a below-.500 team. The Hawks won a good share of close games, but when they lost, they usually got blown out of the gym. By slaying Orlando, Larry Drew showed himself to be a pretty good coach. But so long as Joe Johnson plays like he did last season -- average, basically -- this team's backcourt just isn't good enough to ensure another postseason bid. Al Horford and Josh Smith can only do so much.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
SB Nation: Ziller: Previewing the Southeast Division
Tom Ziller predicts no playoffs for the Hawks: