Atlanta Hawks and Their 5-0 Start: Contenders or Pretenders?

November 4th, 2010 by Doug Gausepohl Leave a reply »
Going into the 2010-11 NBA season, the consensus was there were three elite teams in the Eastern Conference.  The Orlando Magic, Miami Heat, and the Boston Celtics.  Then, for the most part, there was everybody else.

However, all three of those teams have done something that the Atlanta Hawks have yet to do.  Lose.

Yep, the Hawks are the only unbeaten team remaining in the Eastern Conference, standing at a perfect 5-0 record two weeks into the season.  It looks like you can add them to that list of the Eastern Conference elite... right?

Well, that I'm not so sure about.  For a multitude of reasons. 

First off, and most importantly, the Hawks began their season with about as soft of a schedule as you could ask for.  Yes, three of their five games were on the road, and it's harder to win on the road in the NBA than in any other sport, but their road opponents were the Memphis Grizzlies (2-3), Philadelphia 76'ers (1-4), and Cleveland Cavaliers (1-3).  All three of these teams will either be a fringe playoff team, or hoping the lottery balls fall in their favor this June so they can start to rebuild ...

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