Inching Back Ahead

Wednesday, April 18, 2012
By Jon Newberry

With such a tight race involving so many teams, almost every night will feature at least one game with playoff implications. Here on the blog we will provide an almost daily update on the standings, what games to watch, and where to find the best analysis about the Hawks’ position.

Increasing the Stakes
In the daily “If the Season Ended Today” update you will see that the Hawks have again moved back ahead of the Celtics with the fourth best record and home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The tight race just increases the importance of Friday’s showdown with Boston at the Highlight Factory. Remember, the Celtics own the tie-breaker over both the Hawks and the Magic since they will be the Atlantic Division champion.

What happened last night:

  • Knicks 118 – Celtics 110 (@ New York)
    43 points from Paul Pierce wasn’t enough to lift Boston to a win in New York as ‘Melo turned in a triple-double and J.R. Smith and Steve Novak went nuts from 3-point land.
  • Pacers 102 – 76ers 97 (@ Philadelphia)
    Philly continues to struggle in close games (they are 3-18 this season in games decided by seven points are fewer) and Indiana continues to be arguably the hottest team in the NBA.
Here is what is on tap for tonight:
  • Magic @ Celtics – 8:00 pm (ESPN)
    A game that will directly impact the playoff picture for the Hawks will test Orlando’s ability to win without Dwight.
  • Bucks @ Wizards – 7:00 pm
  • 76ers @ Cavs – 7:00 pm
  • Knicks @ Nets – 7:30 pm
  • Pistons @ Hawks – 7:30 pm

With just 10 days left until the playoffs tip-off, our number-crunching friends over at have stepped up their game even more and are now giving us the probability of facing each opponent in the first round along with the seeding:


Another resource that uses numbers way above most of our heads is ESPN’s John Hollinger. He is a frequent visitor to the Highlight Factory and breaks down nearly every facet of NBA basketball with statistics and probabilities. For his “Daily Playoff Odds” he runs the remaining schedule through the computer 5,000 times to churn out the most likely results. Right now he has the Hawks finishing 39-27, the fourth best record in the East. CLICK HERE for his complete breakdown.