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MMPG: Team of the Week

Atlanta Hawks


We beat three of the best teams in the West. I'm shocked! (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)


During a particularly rough stretch of the season in late February and early March -- in which they lost seven of 10 games and Coach Mike Woodson and Josh Smith got into their annual spat -- the Atlanta Hawks were always looking forward to a critical seven-game homestand this month. And through the first five games, the Hawks have yet to lose.

The Hawks had, by far, the most impressive week as they snapped the New Orleans Hornets' seven-game win streak, the Utah Jazz's 12-game win streak, manhandled Indiana and defeated the Portland Trail Blazers. In all, the Hawks have won five in a row, including a win over Detroit. And with 39 wins, they have joined Dallas as the only team this decade to surpass the previous win total for the fourth straight year. They have gone from 13 wins in Woodson's first season, to 26, 30, 37 to whatever they finish with this season.

It wasn't a perfect week, as the Hawks lost Marvin Williams indefinitely with a lower back injury, but even that couldn't slow them down. Joe Johnson was especially torrid last week, as he scored at 30 points in all four wins, averaging 31.5 points and shooting 52.7 percent (48-for-91). The biggest news of this five-game win streak, though, is the return of Smith. Smith had been in a lengthy funk, which contributed to the Hawks' struggles, but he is averaging 16.6 points and 10 rebounds the past five games.



By Michael Lee  |  March 16, 2009; 9:31 AM ET
 
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