The Eastern Conference has been abysmal in virtually every aspect of the game this season, but down the stretch in the regular season you can expect some excitement as the race for playoff positioning heats up. With less than a month remaining in the regular season, every game matters for teams trying to lock up a playoff berth; but while some teams are surging at the right time, others are hoping to not fall out of the postseason at the last minute. The Atlanta Hawks currently hold on to the last playoff spot in the East, but the team has been reeling of late and will need to right the ship face as others continue to gain ground.
The Hawks’ recent woes continued Sunday when Atlanta lost to the Toronto Raptors 96-86 in Canada. Kyle Lowry led the Raptors to victory with 25 points, four assists and four steals. Both Paul Millsap and DeMarre Carroll had impressive performances for Atlanta, scoring 17 point each, but it was not enough to lift the Hawks to victory over the upstart team from Toronto.
The Hawks are 5-5 in the team’s last 10 games and have not shown any true signs of a turnaround, so will the team’s two-game lead over the New York Knicks withstand throughout the remainder of the regular season? Atlanta has left the door ajar, but will the Knicks kick it down or let their playoff chances go up in smoke?
New York has been gaining momentum on and off the court in recent weeks and will look to capitalize in the coming weeks as success is imminent under newly-acquired front-office executive Phil Jackson.
Greg Douglas is an NBA writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on twitter @thegpd93 or add him to your Google Network.