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Last year's ranking: 89
Title track: 94
Fan relations: 46
Stadium experience: 83
Bang for the buck: 37
Need proof that sometimes less really is more? See: Atlanta Hawks circa 2013-14. The Hawks had grand plans of landing Dwight Howard and Chris Paul last summer, but their biggest signing wound up being Paul Millsap. Then a funny thing happened on the way to Philips Arena: The island of misfit toys jelled. Millsap overdelivered (career-best 17.9 PPG), Jeff Teague broke out (career-best 16.5 PPG, 6.7 APG), Kyle Korver led the league in true shooting percentage (.653) and Atlanta finished second in the NBA in assists per game (24.9). The net result? The Hawks won seven of their final 10 games to sneak into the playoffs as the 8-seed and took top-seeded Indiana to seven games. All of that, combined with the absence of soul-crushing missed 3-pointers from Josh Smith, helps explain the 70-spot jump in the players category. The 67-spot improvement in coaching is a testament to Mike Budenholzer, a former Spurs assistant who -- surprise, surprise -- preaches passing and floor spacing. These coaching and player upgrades, plus the fact that the Hawks exceeded expectations last year, equaled big moves in our Ultimate Standings: a 41-spot overall leap that was good for one of the biggest hikes this year. (Voting was conducted before the news broke of owner Bruce Levenson's 2012 racially insensitive email. Levenson -- ranked by fans as the 12th-worst owner in the NBA -- apologized and said he will put controlling interest in the team up for sale.)
Despite these improvements, the Hawks were still second to last in attendance. That's a shame, considering they're quite the steal at seventh best in the NBA in bang for the buck. Tickets are 33 percent cheaper ($35.26) than league average ($52.50), and there are great promotions (Chick-fil-A Family Night offers four tickets and four combo meals for $84!) to entice Atlanta residents. That the Hawks boast one of the league's best Twitter accounts? It might explain a fan relations ranking 62 spots better than last year. In June, the handle wished Al Horford a happy birthday, complete with a meme of then-Pacers guard Lance Stephenson blowing out the candles on the center's birthday cake. Hey, if you can't beat 'em, tweet 'em.