Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images

NBA Playoffs 2013: Scenarios How the Atlanta Hawks Clinch the #5 Seed


The Atlanta Hawks control their own destiny.

They lead sixth-place Chicago by one game with just two remaining in the regular season.

If the Hawks win out, they lock up the #5 seed.

If they lose one-of-two, they likely drop to sixth.

The Bulls own the tiebreaker over the Hawks, winning the season series 2-1, and play two of the worst teams in the NBA to closeout the season. It’s expected Chicago wins at Orlando tonight and at home against Washington on Wednesday to end the season with a 45-37 record.

The Hawks (44-36) play the Raptors in Atlanta on Tuesday, then wrap up the season in New York against the second-place Knicks on Wednesday.

If the Hawks win on Tuesday but lose on Wednesday (which is likely), and the Bulls win their last two games (also likely), both teams will finish with the same record, but Chicago will get the higher seed because they own the tiebreaker.

Atlanta may catch a break in New York because the Knicks have nothing to play for — they already clinched the #2 seed. It actually makes sense for NY to rest their players due to the fact most of their bigs are banged up and giving them another day to heal before the playoffs start is always a smart decision.

Which ever team wins the #5 seed will play fourth-place Brooklyn in the first round, while the #6 seed will face third-place Indiana.

The Bulls get stuck with the #6 seed if they lose tonight and the Hawks win tomorrow.

Chicago is 1-3 vs Indiana and 3-1 vs Brooklyn.

Atlanta is 2-2 vs both Indiana and Brooklyn.

Tags: Atlanta Hawks Featured NBA Playoffs Popular