The Atlanta Hawks have made the play-in tournament, what is next?

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

After a long and eventful season, the Atlanta Hawks have done it, they have qualified for the play-in tournament. They did this a few games ago but it took until the final day of the season to know what seeding and opponent they would have.

With one game remaining in the season the Hawks could have finished anywhere from the eighth seed to the tenth seed. What made things even more complicated was that the Hawks could have had any opponent out of the play-in tournament. This is how tight the play-in race was.

Well, now that the final day of the season is complete we now know the next step for the Hawks. They finished in the ninth seed and will therefore host the Charlotte Hornets in the battle to take on the loser of the other play-in game between the seventh and eighth seeds.

The Atlanta Hawks have the hardest path through the playoffs now

The Hawks must now win the next two games to even make the official postseason. Beating the Hornets should now be easier as Gordon Hayward is back out of the lineup after only just returning. However, he was not in the lineup the last time these two teams met, and the Hornets were able to come back from a long way down to beat the Hawks.

If the Hawks can make it past the Hornets, they will then face the loser of the Brooklyn Nets or Cleveland Cavaliers. While the Hawks won the season series against the Cavaliers, they are still a very dangerous team as shown by their victory against the Milwaukee Bucks. We also all know just how dangerous the superstars of the Nets can be.

If the Hawks can then beat this yet unknown opponent then they will face the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat. While Bam Adebayo is currently out of the lineup due to health and safety protocols, he should be good to go for their first-round series matchup.

If the Hawks can overcome the Heat then they will take on the winner of the series between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Toronto Raptors. The seventh seed would have seen them take on the Boston Celtics in the first round and then the winner of the Milwaukee Bucks and Chicago Bulls series.

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The thing is that there are no easy games for the remainder of the season and you have to beat the best to be the best. Trae Young and company will embrace this challenge without any fear.