Battle for Hawks’ first-round playoff opponent

Roy Hibbert, Al Horford
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The Hawks have long ago clinched the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

The battle for No. 8 is far from decided – and it might come down to the final day of the season.

Five teams are within 2-1/2 games of each other for the final two playoff spots. Right now the Hawks would open against the Nets, a team they play twice in the final two weeks of the regular season. Here’s how the battle sits today with schedules. We’ll update this each day until a “winner” is determined.

7. Miami      (34-40)     21.5 GB     8 games remaining

8. Brooklyn (34-40)     21.5 GB     8 games remaining

9. Boston      (34-41)      22.0 GB    7 games remaining

10. Charlotte (32-42)     23.5 GB    8 games remaining

11. Indiana     (32-43)     24.0 GB    7 games remaining

Upcoming schedules

Heat: 4 home, 4 away – at Cavaliers April 2, at Pistons April 4, at Pacers April 5, vs. Hornets April 7, vs. Bulls April 9, vs. Raptors April 11, vs. Magic April 14, at 76ers April 15

Nets: 6 home, 2 away – vs. Raptors April 3, at Hawks April 4, vs. Trail Blazers April 6, vs. Hawks April 8, vs. Wizards April 10, at Bucks April 12, vs. Bulls April 13, vs. Magic April 15

Celtics: 3 home, 4 away – vs. Bucks April 3, at Raptors April 4, at Pistons April 8, at Cavaliers April 10, vs. Cavaliers April 12, vs. Raptors April 14, at Bucks April 15

Hornets: 3 home, 5 away – at Pacers April 3, vs. 76ers April 4, at Heat April 7, vs. Raptors April 8, at Hawks April 10, at Pistons April 12, vs. Rockets April 13, at Raptors April 15

Pacers: 4 home, 3 away – at Hornets April 3, vs. Heat April 5, at Knicks April 8, at Pistons April 10, vs. Thunder April 12, vs. Wizards April 14, at Grizzlies April 15


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