As much as they'd like to block out everything else, the Hawks can't help but pay attention to the teams behind them in the Eastern Conference standings.That means they pay as much attention to what Miami and Philadelphia are doing as they do anyone else in the league.
If the standings hold form over the next week, the Hawks will face one of those two teams in the first round of the playoffs, with home-court advantage still to be determined.
"In a perfect world you'd ignore that stuff," Hawks center Al Horford said. "But I think it's human nature to keep an eye on those other teams while also maintaining our focus on what we have to do and taking care of our business."
That business included trying to win a second straight road game for the first time in months Wednesday night in Milwaukee.
"We've got enough of our own business to worry about," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. "We've got games to play that are very important to us, so we're not looking past anything or anybody."
Anyone doubting how serious the Hawks are about securing that fourth spot, and the home court advantage that comes with it, need only listen to the Hawks talk about how important that is to them.
Having seen how difficult life in the postseason was without home-court advantage in last year's series against Boston, they know the importance of snagging the fourth spot while it's there for the taking.
"We've held on to this spot since January," Woodson said. "And I think it's not only important for us to hold on to it, it's very important (for) our fans. They deserve a chance to witness a home court start to a series in the playoffs. And to get there we have to handle it one game at a time, stay focused and really just stay the course."
HAWKS 113, BUCKS 105: When you go as long as the Hawks have without back-to-back road wins, you don't worry about the particulars.
You just take your win and get home as fast as you can.
That's why they had no problem sliding out of the Bradley Center on Wednesday night with a 113-105 win over the Milwaukee, their second straight come-from-behind win on the road.
They almost gave it away in the final minutes.
A commanding 10-point lead with six minutes to play had disappeared with 1:51 to play.
It took a Mike Bibby 3-pointer from the corner, off a slick pass from Josh Smith, to break a 102-102 tie with 1:31 to play. Joe Johnson followed with a driving layup on the Hawks' next possession to push the lead back to five, 107-102, and give them a little more breathing room.
Johnson's contested baseline jumper with 17.6 seconds to play was the final dagger the Hawks needed. He finished his night with a game-high 30 points on 10-for-18 shooting from the floor.
Bibby had 22 and eight assists, Smith 21 and seven rebounds and Al Horford 19 and nine rebounds.
In need of wins to solidify their hold on the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference, and the home court advantage in the first round that comes with it, the Hawks (45-34) dialed up yet another gutsy performance when they needed it most.