The Atlanta Hawks (49-12) rolled to a 106-97 victory over the star-studded conference rival Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday. Last month the Hawks sent four players and head coach Mike Budenholzer to the All-Star Game, but they’re still a little known team among NBA fans. It’s the opposite with NBA coaches, who know the Hawks all too well. The coaches are having a hard time devising ways to beat Atlanta’s gloriously unselfish team ball strategy. Some nights the Hawks look like chess players matched against mere checkers champs. Against the Cavs seven Hawks scored in double figures and the defense was just as efficient–and menacing.
As Eric Freeman of Ball Don’t Lie writes of the Hawks: “It’s not the sexiest form of basketball around, but there is something overwhelming and exciting about it simply due to the constancy of effort and ongoing effectiveness of the execution.” We add there’s nothing sexy about the Hawks, unless the shape of a “W” drives you made with desire. The Hawks should get at least 60 of them.