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ATLANTA, GA- by Michael Leder

In a spectacle Tuesday night, the Atlanta Hawks officially beat out the Celtics for the third seed position in the Eastern Division for this year's NBA finals, and they did it on their night off. Thanks to the yanks up in Boston, the Celtics loss to the Chicago Bulls Tuesday night ended the close, long running race for the third seed between the two teams. Let's not give all the credit to Boston though; we can't forget the Hawks have been doing work all season long, oh yeah and swept the Celtics too.

The regular season is about to wind down and it really couldn't have turned out much better for our boys. The Hawks won their fiftieth game of the season on April 9 against the Toronto Raptors, their first season with at least fifty wins in 12 years. Fifty wins was a feat that head coach Mike Woodson called "long overdue" in a press conference after their win last Friday. Quite an achievement it was, adding to Woodson's fifth straight year he has improved the Hawks record.

The Hawks play their last game of the regular season against the number one seed in the Eastern Division the Cleveland Cavaliers, a team the Hawks have yet to beat this year. The Cavs are also guilty of tossing the Hawks out of the playoffs last year in the second round, winning the first four games. No worries though, Atlanta couldn't be in a better position to advance themselves further into the playoffs yet again with a healthy and hungry bench of players. In all likely hood the first round contenders appear to be the Milwaukee Bucks, a team that should fear Joe Johnson, who scored a whopping 31 points against Monday night. Nevertheless, all speculations aside, the stage is set for yet another dramatic page in the NBA finals.


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