NBA Power Rankings Roundup: Are the Atlanta Hawks playoff bound?

Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Jeenah Moon/Getty Images) /

Here’s how the Atlanta Hawks sit in some preseason NBA power rankings

Power rankings before the NBA season has even begun are a bit weird. These are inherently writer-biased and subjective since no games have been played, but for Atlanta Hawks fans coming into the 2020-21 season, they’re a good way to get a heat check on how the NBA community’s biggest writers view the Hawks after the additions they made this offseason.

With the ultimate goal of making the postseason soon, the Hawks hope that additions of Kris Dunn, Rajon Rondo, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Danillo Gallinari, and Onyeka Okongwu will be enough.

Let’s see what the experts around the web are saying about Trae Young and the Hawks’ chances this year.

NBA Power Rankings: Where the Atlanta Hawks are ranked on ESPN

The Hawks are ranked 20th in ESPN’s preseason power rankings, ninth overall in the Eastern Conference, which places them out of the playoff picture.

Still, ESPN’s blurb on the Hawks mentions there is “reason to believe” the Hawks will make the playoffs, noting all the additions the team made.

NBA Power Rankings: Where the Atlanta Hawks are ranked on Sir Charles in Charge

Our sister site, Sir Charles in Charge, ranked the Hawks at No. 17, eighth in the East. The Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards rank just after Atlanta here, previewing what is likely to be an intense race for the eighth seed.

Here’s what Saenz believes is on the line for Atlanta this year:

"“The Atlanta Hawks have been the talk of the offseason. After being one of the most active teams, the Hawks will be entering the 2020-21 season with expectations. Many believe that the Hawks will be a top 8 team in the Eastern Conference and their season will be considered a disappointment if this team doesn’t make the playoffs.”"

 NBA Power Rankings: Where the Atlanta Hawks are ranked on

Published after the initial free agency window, the Hawks were ranked 10th in the Eastern Conference by John Schumann.

This ranking put the Wizards and Magic above the Hawks, but this was notably before the Wizards made a John Wall-Russell Westbrook swap.

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 NBA Power Rankings: Where the Atlanta Hawks are ranked on NBC Sports

Hawks fans should like this one. NBC Sports put the Hawks at No. 18, again at No. 8 in their conference.

It’s pretty clear that the majority views the Magic, Wizards, and Hawks as contenders for that final eighth seed. If the Pacers begin to slip early in the season, it could open up an avenue for one of those teams, perhaps the Hawks if things go well, to jump into the seventh seed to comfortably make the postseason.

The twist, though, is that this year the NBA will return a variation of the extremely exciting play-in tournament that debuted in Orlando in 2020. Seeds 7-through-8 will enter a play-in tournament. Seeds 7 and 8 will play once to determine who gets 7. Likewise, the 9 and 10 seeds will play a game, and whoever wins that gets to play the loser of the 7/8 matchup to see who gets the final playoff spot.

So, getting to 7 or 8 will allow for more room for error in the play-in tournament, but anything 10 or better will give them a shot at making the full playoff bracket.

It’ll be exciting to see how the new-look Hawks perform this year. So far, it seems as if analysts are holding their breath on the Hawks making major noise, but we’ll see how these power rankings shift throughout the season!

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