The Hawks, who were off Tuesday but host the Wizards Wednesday night, moved up to fourth in the East, after a Knicks loss, with three games to play. The top six teams are automatic qualifiers for the playoffs.
According to the NBA, the Hawks can clinch a top-six playoff spot with a win over the Wizards or a Celtics loss at the Cavaliers Wednesday. The Hawks could have clinched a top-six spot Tuesday with a Celtics loss and Knicks win. The Celtics loss to the Heat but the Knicks lost to the Lakers. The Knicks (38-31), Hawks (38-31), Heat (38-31) and Celtics (35-34) could finish with the same record. The Hawks own tiebreakers over Boston and Miami. New York owns the tiebreaker over the Hawks. There is still a chance that the Hawks, Knicks and Celtics finish in a three-way tie at 38-34 and in that scenario, the Hawks would finish seventh.