Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins was in a good mood Sunday night, and for good reason. Collins laughed after watching his Eagles beat host Philadelphia’s 76ers 103-96. Maybe because of his teams reached finals after three losing seasons. This maybe because he was wearing a jersey with a photo of him dunking on 76ers center Joel Embiid in Game 6.
In the first three seasons of Collins in Atlanta, the Eagles have a 73-158 record, which is their fourth-worst record. Win rate during the period (2017-20) Last season they were not invited to participate in the Orlando, Florida bubble. The losses continue to accumulate, and it seems that they have not been resolved until the start of the 2020/21 season.
By March 1, the Eagles were 14-20 and had just fired their head coach. Three and a half months later, they entered the Eastern Conference Finals. This is the team’s first victory in the 7th game out of 10 attempts. The victory allowed the Eagles to enter the conference finals for the second time in 50 years. When Nate McMillan succeeded him, it seemed unthinkable to many. As he succeded interim coach Lloyd Pierce.
When asked if he thought it was possible when he took office, Macmillan pointed out what he wanted to establish as a new leader. Despite losing the All-Star Game at halftime when Atlanta was 16-20, the Hawks are the third team in the current playoff format (since 1984) to reach the conference finals other two successful teams—the Celtics in 2012 (15-17) and the Suns (19-24) in 1984—didn’t make the NBA finals
. McMillan is also the seventh coach in NBA history to lead the team to the conference finals this season and became the head coach during the season. Tyrone Leu (Cleveland Cavaliers 2016), Pat Riley (twice: Heat 2006, Lakers 1982) and Paul Westheed (Lakers in 1980) all led the team to the NBA championship. The last time the Eagles reached the NBA Finals was in 1961, when the St. Louis Eagles lost to the Boston Celtics.
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