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Go Hawks!

Go Hawks!

Congratulations to the Atlanta Hawks, the Eastern Conference champions and the number one seed heading into the NBA playoffs!

At 55 – 18, the Hawks have a winning percentage of .753. If they finish the season with a winning percentage of better than .695, it will be the winningest season in the history of the 66-year-old franchise. (They moved to Atlanta in 1968 from St. Louis.) What’s amazing about the Hawks dominance this year is the absence of a true marquee name. Yes, they sent four players to the All-Star game, but the names Al Horford, Paul Millsap, Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver don’t exactly transcend sports like Lebron James or Kevin Durant. In fact, they don’t have a single player in the top 20 in the league in points or rebounds.

The Hawks egos, never, ever, get in the way.

— Ray Glier, USA Today

So how do they do it? The opinions are varied, but some of the themes have broad applicability, including in the business world:

  • Unselfishness: They pass the ball extremely well and share the responsibility of scoring. As a team, they are are second in the league in assists and all five starters average double figures in points per game. Or, as Ray Glier of USA Today puts it, “The Hawks egos, never, ever, get in the way.”
  • Depth: Every player on the team contributes, which is becoming increasingly important as the team deals with injuries late in the season.
  • Core team: Guys like Horford and Teague, the team leaders in the locker room, have spent their entire careers with Atlanta (eight and six seasons, respectively).
  • Leadership: The Hawks head coach, Mike Budenholzer, exemplifies the team-first mentality. This is his first head coaching assignment, but he worked under the legendary Spurs coach Gregg Popovich prior to coming to Atlanta. Basketball fans will see similarities between the Hawks style of play and the five-time champion Spurs. (Budenholzer was part of four of those championship teams.)

If you’re interested in seeing the Hawks do their thing, check out their schedule here. It includes five more regular season home games and an April 8 game in Brooklyn against the Nets. 

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