While many have already begun predicting a Hornets-Hawks playoff series, the Hornets opponent is far from determined at this point.
Here are the current standings in the NBA's Eastern Conference:
3. Atlanta Hawks (48-32) -- (4/11 AT Cleveland, 4/13 AT Washington)
4. Boston Celtics (47-33) 1.0 games back. (4/11 Vs. Charlotte, 4/13 Vs. Miami)
5. Miami Heat (47-33) 1.0 games back. (4/12 AT Detroit, 4/13 AT Boston).
6. Charlotte Hornets (46-34) 2.0 games back. (4/11 AT Boston, 4/13 Vs. Orlando).
What I'm hoping for? Avoiding the Hawks. While the Hornets are capable of winning a series against any of these teams, Atlanta presents the biggest challenge. Mike Budenholzer is an outstanding coach, and his teams' defense is even better. With that said, offense isn't a problem either, as they're among the league's best in both offensive and defensive efficiency.
But putting statistics aside, the Hawks have had the Hornets number in recent years. The matchups aren't terrible, but the Hawks seem to be a more proven and experienced version of the Hornets. Jeff Teague guards Kemba Walker well, and Al Jefferson never seems to get hot versus the Hawks.
No matter who the Hornets play, advancing to the next round is going to be a challenge. However, drawing a team other than Atlanta is a good start.
Lead Hornets Writer: Jonathon Hoppe