The short answer: the Hawks are the opposite of the Falcons.
After starting out the year 6-0, I, along with many people, had high hopes for the Hawks season. All of a sudden the deflating off-season where the Hawks lost Childress and played chicken with J-Smoove turned into thoughts of a 50-win season and challenging the Magic for the Southeast division title. These expectations, while fun to roll around in at the time, inflated my hopes too high for this team. To see them play hard, team defense. To see them swing the ball around the perimeter to find the open shooter. To see Joe take over in the 4th in a close game. These wonderful things proved fleeting as the long-haul of the season wore on.
Sometimes the good Hawks will come to play an entire game (I remember somewhere in the drunken haze of my bachelor party that the Hawks played well when we beat the Cavs in Atlanta in December). Sometimes the good Hawks will play only a quarter (usually either the 1st or the 4th). Sometimes the good Hawks won't play for a couple of games.
And that is what is so maddening. The utter inconsistency. The Falcons played way above their heads to get to their 11-5 record, but you knew it. That's what made it so fun. Despite the fact that the Hawks have a winning record this late in the season for the first time 1999, there are times I want to go crazy watching them. And it is because they keep giving you glimpses of how good they could be, and then they'll lapse into the same losing patterns of the last 4 or so years.
I'd be so much happier with the 32-25 record if I didn't think they could already have 40 wins.