The Atlanta Hawks have been on the hottest of all streaks, winning 17 straight NBA games, the longest streak in the NBA this year. The streak started on Saturday December 27, and has continued all the way through January 28th. The streak started after an embarrassing 30-point loss to the Milwaukee Bucks and since then the Hawks haven’t looked back. Throughout this streak they have beaten powerful teams such as the Cleveland Cavaliers, Chicago Bulls, Washington Wizards, and Los Angeles Clippers. In 13 of their 17 straight wins, they have scored over 100 points. In 12 games during this streak, their defense has held the opposition to under 100 points. With the efficiency that the Hawks have been winning, some people are expecting them to win all the way through the all-star break, which is February 13-15. They have eight more games left, with five of them being against teams that have above .500 records.
Their most challenging games are going to be against Golden State, Washington, and Memphis. Their next game is January 30 against Portland, who they should be able to beat considering it’s at the Hawks home arena. Whenever this streak is snapped, Atlanta will just have to have short-term memory and focus on their next game. Atlanta’s streak has been helped by the play of their three all-stars, Al Horford, Paul Millsap, and Jeff Teague. They have the most all-stars of any team going to New York, and some experts believe that Kyle Korver was a snub for the all-star team, which would have given Atlanta four all-stars. Despite this, with Atlanta playing at the level that they are playing at right now, they should go into the all-star break feeling very good about themselves. They are the number one team in the East, playing well past the level that was supposed to be there by the Cavaliers and Bulls.
Atlanta’s streak has proved that they can compete with the preseason favorite Cavaliers and Bulls. Right now the Bulls and Cavaliers have underperformed, as Cleveland has failed to have team chemistry and Chicago has failed to get any form of consistency. During this streak they have competed with the East favorites and have emerged as the favorite to win the Eastern Conference. Unless the Bulls and Cavaliers can pull it together, then Atlanta will continue to use the momentum gained through this streak to keep them atop the standings and to the NBA post-season.