But while hope springs eternal, nothing is set in stone. The Hawks, losers of their last 3, are 2 games up on Miami and 2.5 games up on Philly. However, they still hold the 4th spot by that margin.
So who would I rather play? Personally, I think the Hawks would fare better against Miami because I think if they shut down Dwyane Wade, they'll shut down the Heat. Unlike the NBA Championship year in Miami, there's no Shaq to help Wade. Philadelphia, on the other hand, has a few guys that can beat you on any given night.
Do I have any stats to back that up? Sort of. The Hawks are 1-2 against Philadelphia, with the 1 win coming at home (and 1 loss each at home and on the road), and they're 2-1 against Miami, with a win at home and a win on the road. They have another game against the Heat this season, on April 14, and in that game we should get a better idea of how they'd fare.
So I ask you this: Who would you rather the Hawks play in the first round, and why?
Once the playoff matchup is set, Smildress and I will weigh in with our predictions on the first round. Until then, Go Hawks!