The Atlanta Hawks winning streak wasn’t going to be stopped or slowed down against the Boston Celtics, cruising for their 10th in a row and beating the home team 105-91, keeping them far ahead of the competition in the Eastern conference.
This is the first time since the 1997-1998 season that the Hawks have won 10 games in a row. Their record (31-8) is the second best in the league behind the Golden State Warriors. The win over the Celtics was also their 10th in a row on the road, the longest such streak in franchise history.
Jeff Teague and DeMarre Carroll led the team with 22 points each, and the absence of Kyle Korver went unnoticed, getting a night off as the Hawks go through the infamous four games in five days stretch. Thabo Sefolosha played instead and his defense was enough of a replacement. The Hawks still shot pretty well from the outside, hitting 10-of-29 from beyond the arc.
The Celtics keep changing, as they are one of the teams in the league working hard at re-working the roster. Unlike others, who have this season and the playoffs in mind, for the Celtics it’s mostly about getting draft picks or clearing cap space for the future, as it seems their rebuilding process is going to take quite a while, and mostly longer than they initially were hoping for.
The Hawks continue to stand as a perfect example of how to keep a team competitive even without stars. They gave up on Joe Johnson and then lost/gave up on Josh Smith. The result? At least in this regular season, they’re much better for it and playing possibly the most enjoyable and unselfish basketball in the league.
Championship material? The East is wide open, and so is the league. Good teams, maybe even better teams have had such starts only to fall off at some point after the All-Star break which tends to change momentum for teams midway through the season.
Just remember – the Celtics, the terrible Celtics, at 13-24, are only two games behind 8th place in the East. That’s how weak most of the conference is.