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Atlanta Hawks A Virtual Lock For The Playoffs According To John Hollinger

According to ESPN.com's John Hollinger, the Atlanta Hawks are 99.1 percent certain to make the playoffs after starting the season with an 18-9 record. Atlanta currently sits in the No. 4 spot in the Eastern Conference which would give them home court advantage in the first round if the playoffs started today.

Atlanta is tightly bunched with Philadelphia, Indiana and Orlando where they are separated by just one and a half games. Even without Al Horford, Atlanta isn't likely to fall out of the playoff picture without another significant injury. Atlanta currently has a 5.5 game lead over the New York Knicks who have won five straight to take over the eighth and final playoff spot in the conference.

In addition to the playoffs, Hollinger gives the Hawks a 24.4 percent of winning their division but just a two percent chance of capturing the No. 1 seed in the East. Hollinger's calculations give Atlanta a 4.6 percent chance of reaching the Finals and a 1.9 percent chance of bringing home the championship.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.