ATLANTA (AP) – The Atlanta Hawks spent the past month doing little more than warming up for the playoffs.
Now it’s time to get real again.
After setting a franchise record for wins and claiming top seed in the Eastern Conference, the Hawks host Brooklyn on Sunday to open the playoffs.
Atlanta (60-22) goes in as an overwhelming favorite against the Nets (38-44), a team they beat all four times during the regular season.
Still, there were some troubling signs down the stretch.
The Hawks had a rash of nagging injuries on the court. Two players were arrested in New York during a bizarre incident that left forward Thabo Sefolosha with a season-ending leg injury. And the team won just seven of its last 15 games, with a pair of three-game losing streaks.
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