Scoreboard Watching: Nets’ Stars Help Give Hawks Cushion

Thursday, April 11, 2013
By Jaryd Wilson

Atlanta Hawks v. Philadelphia 76ers

The Hawks are in prime position to finish no worse than sixth in the East after the Brooklyn Nets took care of the Boston Celtics 101-93 at TD Garden last night.

The Brooklyn win means the Hawks cannot host a first round playoff series.  However, it appears unlikely that Atlanta will have to deal with New York in the first round, which may be a good thing considering the Knicks have won 13 in a row.standings

Deron Williams scored 29 points, Brook Lopez added 21 and Joe Johnson dropped 20 as the Hawks moved 2.5 games ahead of Boston for the six spot.

Atlanta’s blowout win over Philadelphia also helped them pull within a tenth of a percent of the Chicago Bulls for the five spot.  The Bulls own the tiebreaker over the Hawks, which means Chicago would still have to lose two of its next five for Atlanta to have a chance.  The Knicks and Heat are still on Chicago’s schedule, so we’ll see how it plays out.

At this point, seeds 1, 2, 3, 4 and 8 are about set.  Boston is close to locking up the seventh spot, which means all eyes may be on the Hawks to round out the seeding over the season’s final six days.

Biggest winner:  Hawks
Atlanta got a nice road winto move into a virtual tie with Chicago for fifth.  They also probably won’t drop to seventh because…

Biggest loser: Celtics
…Boston lost a critical home game to Brooklyn.  Celtics assistants are already starting to look at Knicks tapes.

Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images

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