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There is cause for celebration in Atlanta. Michael Vick out of jail? No. The Braves winning the World Series? That could still happen this year. Dan Waddell leaving the Thrashers for Greenland? Nope.
The whooping and hollering that can be heard on Peachtree Street near the Hooters are probably Hawks fans, who saw their team go to the post season for the first time since 1999 tonight and they did it without firing a single shot. They have the Washington Wizards to thank for that. Washington's 117-110 win over the Indiana Pacers sent them back home again to Indiana and put the Hawks in the playoffs, where they will in all likelihood meet the Boston Celtics in the first round of the NBA Championships.
Does this mean that the Hawks are turning the table? It's a start. They'll be the only team with a sub .500 record when the playoffs start on the 19th. But this is a Hawks team that wants to win. They haven't had a winning season in quite a while and they need to take up some of the slack as far as Atlanta playoff teams go.
I'm not sure that Atlanta can beat Boston. But if they can scare the hell out of the Celtics even a little bit, it will be an interesting series. It might even go the distance.
Right now, the Atlanta Hawks should send Washington a case of champange. I'm sure they'll accept. Hawks fans can now end their suffering and children that were born the last time they went to the playoffs can hold their heads high. Even 8th place teams can dream.