NBA: 6 teams facing the most pressure to win post All-Star break

Dallas Mavericks Kyrie Irving (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
Dallas Mavericks Kyrie Irving (Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks Trae Young (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports) /

Atlanta Hawks

There’s an argument to be made that the Atlanta Hawks are in a similar position to the Toronto Raptors. After deciding not to drastically retool their team at the NBA Trade Deadline (or at the very least move on from John Collins), the Hawks have to have their play reinforce the idea that this team can gel.

If the Hawks want to avoid a possibly chaotic or problematic offseason, this is a team that has to go on a run during the second half of the season. If the Hawks miss the playoffs entirely this season, it could open the door for some real change during the offseason – change that you can argue should’ve happened before.

But if the Hawks truly believe in this core, there has to be some evidence that they can build off their inconsistencies. That means winning during the final stretch of the season. If the Hawks can finish as the sixth seed and be competitive in the first round of the playoffs, perhaps that’s something this team can build off of heading into the offseason.

I’m not sure what happens if they are subjected to another embarrassing showing in the playoffs, if they even get there.