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2012 NBA Standings: Hawks Can Clinch Playoff Spot With Win Over Toronto

The Atlanta Hawks can clinch a playoff spot with a win over the Toronto Raptors tonight at Philips Arena. While it is fairly certain that the Hawks will be in the playoffs win or lose tonight there is much more at stake in terms of home court advantage in the first-round.

Currently Atlanta is a half game ahead of the Boston Celtics with a 35-24 record. Boston is guaranteed to be no worse than the fourth seed thanks to their lead in the Atlantic division, however the Hawks can earn home court advantage over the Celtics if they finish with a better record. Boston holds all of the tie breakers so every win the Hawks can get are crucial at this point.

Atlanta has fallen 2.5 games behind the Indiana Pacers for third place and hold a one game lead over the Orlando Magic entering play on Sunday. The Hawks have the tie-breakers over the Magic who may be without Dwight Howard for an extended period with a back injury.

1. Chicago Bulls 45-14 --
2. Miami Heat 41-17 3.5
3. Indiana Pacers 38-22 7.5
4. Boston Celtics 35-25 10.5
5. Atlanta Hawks 35-24 10.0
6. Orlando Magic 34-25 11.0
7. New York Knicks 31-28 14.0
8. Philadelphia 76ers 31-28 14.0
*9. Milwaukee Bucks 29-31 16.5

For more on this game Hawks fans should visit Peachtree Hoops and Rators fans should visit Raptors HQ. For more news and notes from around the NBA head over to SB Nation'sNBA Basketball page.

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