The Hornets are not making life any easier for the Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports /

The Charlotte Hornets are locked in a battle for the ninth seed with the Atlanta Hawks. Thanks to losing the season series 1-3 the Hawks need to finish with a one-game advantage in the win column over the Hornets if they are going to stay above them in the standings.

Earlier in the season, the Hawks made the Cam Reddish trade with the New York Knicks which gave them the heavily protected 2022 first-round draft pick. This meant that the Hawks would have been happy for the Hornets to keep winning at this point. This is not the case anymore as it is not going to convey where they are positioned in the standings.

They were in freefall prior to the return of Gordon Hayward to the lineup. Then, two games after his return the Hornets started to perform at a higher level. This is where things are starting to be a little interesting for the Hawks.

The Atlanta Hawks just need to keep winning to get the best seeding possible.

If the Hawks are able to win both of their remaining games then they will finish no lower than the ninth seed. However, if they drop a game and the Hornets do not drop another game then the Hawks will finish below them thanks to losing the season series.

This is where the Hawks’ loss to the Toronto Raptors could have some fairly major playoff implications. Had they won that game then they would have given themselves some needed breathing space. Now, the pressure is on every game and the next one is against the top seed of the Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat.

The playoff picture with two games remaining. dark. Next

The saving grace for the Hawks is that the Hornets’ next opponent is the Chicago Bulls. If both teams lose their next matchup then the Hawks are likely to be in the better seed at the end of the season. They will also be hoping that the Cleveland Cavaliers falter even more at the end of the season so that they can leapfrog them as well.