December 28, 2012; Cleveland, OH USA: Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Jones (5) looks to pass as Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Tristan Thompson (13) defends during the game at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Eric P. Mull-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Power Rankings: Atlanta Hawks Weekly Round-Up

Dec 26, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford (15) chases a ball out of bounds in the second half against the Detroit Pistons at Philips Arena. The Hawks won 126-119 in double overtime. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Here at Soaring Down South, we strive to bring our readers the best Atlanta Hawks coverage on a daily basis, but it’s also appropriate if we let the “the others” throw in their two cents from time to time.

The “the others”, while not nearly as exciting as those mysterious people on the other side of the island, are well respected for a reason. They will include the likes of ESPN,, NBC Sports/Pro Basketball Talk, CBS Sports, and USA Today.

And yes, there was just a Lost reference on SDS.

With that, here are the media heavyweights analysis of where the Hawks stack up against the rest of the league as of week 9:

Marc Stein (ESPN) – This week: 8 Last week: 8

The Hawks’ prospects didn’t look all that great back on opening night, when they surrendered 45 points to James Harden and lost at home. Yet they enter Monday night’s rematch in Houston with the best road record in the East at 8-4 … while Joe Johnson and the Nets try to dig out of disarray.

John Schuhmann ( – This week: 7 Last week: 8

The Hawks’ offense continues to flourish with Lou Williams in the starting lineup, even with Josh Smith missing Saturday’s game against the Pacers’ top-two defense. Atlanta has scored 111 points per 100 possessions in the four games (all wins) that Williams has started. The Hawks play nine of their next 11 games on the road, but they’ve been the league’s fifth-best road team (NetRtg: +3.6) thus far.

Kurt Helin (NBC Sports/ProBasketballTalk) – This week: 7 Last week: 8

Winners of four in a row, including quality wins over the Bulls and Pacers in that stretch. Their offense is going well with Lou Williams starting, taking over the Joe Johnson role.

Matt Moore (CBSSports) – This week: 7 Last week: 8

Just to be clear, they traded their biggest star to the Nets and have a better record than … the Nets.

USA Today – This week: 8 Last week: 8

Kyle Korver makes three-pointers and looks like Ashton Kutcher, as always.

Well, there you have it — among five of the webs biggest and baddest NBA authorities all rank the Hawks in the top 8. Hard not to love that! Although another Kutcher/Korver comparison.. Really?  We thought you were better than that, USA Today.

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