5QT: Hawks, Jazz have plenty on which to hang their hopes

Trae Young and the Hawks clearly have plenty of promise for the future.

ATLANTA — Five quick thoughts/facts from the Atlanta Hawks’ 117-114 win over the visiting Utah Jazz on Thursday.

1. The Jazz are a team full of personalities. I think that helps with their chemistry, and gives them the ability to have an overall chip on their shoulder. Before the game Donovan Mitchell was giving away signed shoes like it was a Foot Locker. One Jazz player even told me personally to go tell the other locker room that they were going to beat them tonight. Meanwhile, rookie Grayson Allen was laughing, watching his teammate tell me this. They also have guys like Rudy Gobert and Jae Crowder. It’s a passionate locker room, which is a good thing.

2. The Hawks continue to be competitive. This is a Jazz team that just played the New York Knicks on Wednesday and were up 27 at halftime. In this game the Hawks were winning 29-28 at the end of the first quarter. I like to say the Hawks and the Grizzlies are the BEST worst teams. However, it’s different for the Hawks, because they are a young team. The Grizzlies are a veteran-led team. They’re not supposed to be at the bottom of the standings, while the Hawks were. Give the Hawks a few more weapons, and some time, and they’ll be in the playoffs. The Hawks also WON the game.

3. The Jazz are typically one of those HOME-teams. However, this season they have a very respectable 19-14 road record. I still think we will see them thrive at home in the playoffs, while struggling on the road. They’re used to a great environment back in Salt Lake City.

4. The Jazz also compete in the Western Conference, so good luck to them. At tipoff they they were the fifth seed, but were only 0.5 games ahead of the eighth. Meanwhile, in the East, the Miami Heat, who have a sub-.500 record, are in the playoffs. I don’t think the owners will ever agree to change the playoffs from conferences to the outright top-16 teams, but this is getting out of hand. One of these teams would have to play the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the playoffs.

The Jazz ended the game as the 7th seed.

5. Mitchell is still a blessing from the Jazz owners all the way to the entire state of Utah. Come on. They got this kid with the 13th overall pick in the draft. He was the second-to-last pick in the 2017 lottery. They deserve a lot of credit for making the pick, but they also should say a few prayers of thanks.