- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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Interesting choice of words from Hawks GM Danny Ferry.
Speaking with USA Today, Ferry said that Atlanta is "not focused" on making the playoffs.
Here is the full quote:
"Throughout the year, I felt we've been on a good path," Ferry said. "When healthy, we've been a very good team. I like the way we play. It's system-based. I like our players. There's some substance to them. With the way we're set-up from a salary cap standpoint and a roster standpoint that good things can continue to unfold.
"We're not focused on trying to be the eighth seed in the playoffs because that's not our goal. We're trying to build something that's good, sustainable and the components are in place for us to do so."
That quote can be taken one of two ways:
1. The Hawks are focused on the future and will lose games to improve their chances of getting a high pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. If Atlanta makes the playoffs, they will select 15th in the first round. If they miss the playoffs, they will likely select around 10th, according to USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt. There is a small chance that they get a top-three pick.
2. The Hawks will try to win as many games as possible but making the playoffs won't impact how Ferry judges the season. And the team is ultimately focused on turning itself into a perennial contender, not a team that settles for the eighth seed.
Sorry, Knicks fans.
The guess here is that Ferry meant that a playoff berth won't affect how he judges the Hawks' season.
Atlanta beat Philadelphia on Monday night to snap a six-game losing streak. With the win, the Hawks maintained a one-game lead over the Knicks for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Atlanta has nine games left. Four of the nine are against teams with records over .500. Three of the Hawks opponents (Milwaukee, Boston, Detroit) are a combined 94 games under .500.
The Knicks have seven games to play. All seven are against teams over .500.
New York also trails the Hawks by two games in the loss column. Atlanta also holds the tiebreaker by virtue of the team's record against Eastern Conference opponents.
What do you think about Danny Ferry's comments that Atlanta is "not focused" on securing the eighth seed?
Up now: The Knicks shook off a slow start to beat the Jazz and finish their five-game road trip at 3-2.
What's next: The Knicks will face the Brooklyn Nets at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday.
Question: What do you think about Danny Ferry's comments that Atlanta is "not focused" on securing the eighth seed?
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