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2012 NBA Standings: Hawks One Game Up On Celtics With Two Games Left

The Atlanta Hawks sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, looking to jump up to fourth and earn home-court advantage.

Feb 23, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks fans celebrate against the Orlando Magic at Phillips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE
Feb 23, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks fans celebrate against the Orlando Magic at Phillips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-US PRESSWIRE

With a playoff berth having been secured for a while, Atlanta has been trying to surpass Boston for fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings, which would bring along home court advantage in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

The Hawks currently sit in fifth with a 38-26 record, one game better than the Celtics. Each team has two games remaining in the season. Atlanta's two games will be tough, but they're both at home, where the Hawks are 21-10 this year.

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Clippers come to town. The Clippers are in fourth place in the Western Conference, 1/2 game behind the Lakers, so there will be plenty to play for between the two teams. On Thursday, the defending-champion Dallas Mavericks will come to Atlanta. The Mavs are 1/2 game out of sixth, which would mean avoiding the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round, so Dallas also could have a lot to play for.

Atlanta may have to strike a balance between fighting for home court and resting for the playoffs. That also could depend what the Celtics are doing. Boston and Atlanta will meet in the first round. All that's left to determine is the location of Game 1.

Read more about the Hawks at Peachtree Hoops.

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