Atlanta Hawks power rankings: Club going up on a Monday


Jan 2, 2015; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz guard Dante Exum (11) tries to slow Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap (4) down and Millsap bring the ball up the court during the third quarter at EnergySolutions Arena. Atlanta Hawks won the game 98-92. Mandatory Credit: Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

The Hawks are 18-2 in their last 20 games, so yeah, they were destined to keeping climbing the various national NBA power rankings. Now that Atlanta holds the top spot in the Eastern Conference and an unthinkable road win in Portland on the second night of a back-to-back, they’re a safe bet for the top 2 in a bunch of the weekly rankings.

CBS Sports

Hawks rank: 2nd

Last week: 6th

"“OK, folks, we’re at DEFCON HAWKS. Atlanta just the second of a back-to-back in Portland on Saturday. That’s not a signature win, that’s putting your name in graffiti in giant letters all over the title race. They are stocked with smart, talented players and execute the right way in key situations. Tough team.”"

The Hawks didn’t just get the #2 spot and a complimentary blurb from Matt Moore. They were also the title subject for the opening paragraphs. “Nine Hawks are shooting 45 percent or better from the field, a “good” mark, and four of their shooters are clocking in at over 36 percent from 3-point range.”

Hawks rank: 1st

Last week: 4th

"“This is the latest in a season that the Hawks — on pace to win a franchise-record 62 games — have topped the East since this committee (of one) started covering the NBA in 1993-94. The same season, as noted last week, when the Hawks stunningly dealt Dominque Wilkins for Danny Manning on deadline day.”"

Whoa. Number 1. Let that sink in for a minute.

SB Nation

Hawks rank: 2nd

Last week: 8th

"“The Hawks are tearing through the league and leap all the way up to the No. 2 spot as they take control of the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. They’ve zipped through a West gauntlet: dropping the Trail Blazers on the road was the extra boost they needed to eclipse the elite West teams.”"

Last week I used the ranking instead of the SB Nation poll. Why the switch? Because was too slow today, and I didn’t feel like waiting on them. I’m super patient like that.

Yahoo! Sports

Hawks rank: 3rd

Last week: 7th

"“Keep an eye on former Hawks star Dominique Wilkins, who could have a high-level role with the next ownership group in Atlanta.”"

My line on Spears last week from last week’s rankings: “Marc Spears occasionally buries interesting but crucial tidbits of NBA news in his power rankings.”

My thoughts this week: Marc Spears occasionally buries interesting but crucial tidbits of NBA news in his power rankings.

USA Today

Hawks rank: 3rd

Last week: 6th

"“Who is the All-Star here? Jeff Teague, Paul Millsap and Al Horford all may make it, with a little help.”"

I honestly wouldn’t know how to feel about three Hawks making the All-Star team. One the one hand, three is better than one, but on the other, the top tier of the Hawks has four players. Kyle Korver deserves to make it just as much as these three, and leaving one lonely deserving candidate behind seems borderline cruel.

Hawks rank: 1st

Last week: 4th

"“The Hawks’ Legitimacy Tour ran through Portland, where they improved to 10-5 against teams currently over .500. Paul Millsap scored 53 points (16 in the fourth quarter) against the two above-.500 opponents — the Cavs and Blazers — they beat last week. The Hawks lead the conference and their leading All-Star vote-getter ranks 13th among East bigs. “"

I’m not sure I would rank the Hawks above Golden State, a team with top-5 offensive and defensive ratings, but I’m also not going to quibble over one spot, especially if it gives the Hawks the exposure they desperately deserve.

(By the way, if you missed out Pero Antic interview from early today, it’s located here.)

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