ATLANTA Nine days and four games remain in the NBA's regular season for the Hawks, who, having already clinched a playoff spot for the sixth consecutive season, are set in a state of limbo.
They don't know their playoff opponent for the first round, although it would be the No. 3 Pacers, at this moment. Atlanta leads seventh-place Boston by 1 12 games and trails fifth-place Chicago by one game ( two in the loss column).
It's almost mathematically impossible for Atlanta to catch fourth-place Brooklyn, which owns a three-game lead over the Hawks.
Also, from their perspective, wins and losses don't mean as much as resting key players for the playoffs. Starting point Jeff Teague addressed the situation after practice on Monday.
"I think it's always fun for some of the guys who haven't been to the playoffs, we're just trying to tell them these last couple of games we just really need to focus," he said. "Get your focus right. It's not about the wins and losses. We're locked into th...