Can the Atlanta Hawks sneak past the Cleveland Cavaliers?

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /

When the Atlanta Hawks lost to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the opening part of the season, it seemed that the Hawks were again not winning the games that they should win. Well, before the injuries hit them the Cavaliers were one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference which has surprised most experts.

While every team goes through injury issues throughout a season, it is all the wrong players who are out for the season now. Collin Sexton‘s season ended in the middle of November with a torn meniscus in his left knee. The Cavaliers were able to wear that injury somewhat, they were not as good but were still a good team.

Then the news came at the start of March that Jarrett Allen has a fractured finger and is out indefinitely. Since he has been out of the lineup the Cavalier have gone 4-6. They have lost their last three games which has seen them drop out of the last playoff spot and into the play-in tournament seeding.

The Atlanta Hawks need to finish the season strongly

The Hawks need to make the most of their schedule which is one of the easiest in the NBA to finish the season. With eight games left this season, the Hawks should be clear of the New York Knicks and the Washington Wizards. They can mathematically catch the Hawks but it is unlikely.

There are two teams between the Hawks and the Cavaliers. The Charlotte Hornets have been surprisingly good and are a full game ahead of the Hawks. It will be interesting to see if the Georgia franchise can get above the Hornets.

Likewise, the Brooklyn Nets are surging again, beating the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat. However, the Knicks also recently did this so this may be a Heat problem. It will be interesting to see if the Hawks can get past the Nets.

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If you look at the fixture of the Cavaliers, they have only two easy games, both against the Orlando Magic. It is conceivable that the Cavaliers could lose their other six games. The finish to this season is going to be tight in the play-in tournament seeds.