Fresh off the team's 105-90 win against the Heat Wednesday, it's a good time to be an Atlanta Hawks fan. Joe Johnson is in heady territory at No. 7 on Maurice Brooks' MVP Watch, holding down the fort just behind LeBron James and Dirk Nowitzki. And at 10-2 overall, the Hawks continue holding down the No. 1 spot in John Hollinger's Power Rankings.

So why are so many good seats still available on the bandwagon?

Only 54 percent of SportsNation thinks the Hawks are legitimate contenders, and a majority still like the Magic to win the Southeast. And looking at SportsNation's Power Rankings, it's taken a long time for the Hawks to gain traction.


Should we offically say Hawks are contenders?

Chad Ford
Chad Ford

I think that's fair. They have a ton of talent and every year they keep taking another step. Joe Johnson has been an early MVP candidate. Josh Smith has been on fire. They really look great. I still favor Orlando, Boston and Cleveland. But Atlanta's closer than I thought they'd be. Full transcript

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