Twistity Sports Exclusive: AIRBORNE HAWKS

  AIRBORNE HAWKS If good things come to those who wait, the Atlanta Hawks deserve whatever they can grab. They haven’t finished first in their division since 1993-94. They’ve...


 

AIRBORNE HAWKS

If good things come to those who wait, the Atlanta Hawks deserve whatever they can grab.

They haven’t finished first in their division since 1993-94. They’ve been eliminated in the first round of the NBA playoffs the last three seasons. They’ve mostly been an afterthought when they’ve been thought of at all.

airbornehawks1No more. Wednesday night’s 110-91 win over the Indiana Pacers gave the Hawks’ a franchise-record tying 14th consecutive victory. That’s also the longest current winning streak in the NBA. Their 35-8 record, the best in the Eastern Conference, earned second-year coach Mike Budenholzer and his staff the right to coach the Eastern team in the NBA All-Star game next month.

Budenholzer will probably be taking a few of his players along – Al Horford, Paul Millsap, Kyle Korver and Jeff Teague could make the All-Star team. That would be two big men (Horford, Millsap) and two guards.

It was the Pacers who put the injury-riddled Hawks out of the playoffs last spring. This was a tasty piece of payback on Wednesday.

In his second season, Budenholzer has firmly established a system in which no one player is bigger than the game. In beating the Pacers, six Hawks scored in double figures.

The Hawks are back in action Friday night at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder (22-20), who have won their last four games.
 
 
Post By: Larry Weisman, a longtime sportswriter for USA TODAY, blogs for Twistity.com. Follow him on Twitter @MrLarryWeisman .

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