Atlanta Hawks – Balance
No one thought that the Hawks would run away with the number one seed in the East, but Mike Budenholzer and his team have zoomed past every expectation. The central story line surrounding Atlanta this season has been their success without the benefit of a singular superstar, and balance is the key to everything that the Hawks do on both ends.
Al Horford, Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague have all performed at a “star” level this season, but the Hawks generate top-10 units in offense (6th) and defense (8th) based on their across-the-board capabilities. Atlanta is currently second in the NBA in assists, with an uncanny ability to share the ball with dizzying ball movement, and defensively, they perform as a unit as if Budenholzer was simply pulling strings on the sideline.
It would be a mistake to say that the Hawks don’t have a lot of talent, because they do. However, the team concept and individuals filling specific roles are central to everything in Atlanta, and they have executed both flawlessly over the body of the season.