After being the NBA’s most surprising team last season, en route to a berth in the Eastern Conference Finals, it’s pretty easy to say that no one will be taking the Atlanta Hawks lightly anymore.
At the end of the day, though, Atlanta was decisively defeated by a superior Cleveland Cavaliers team in that series, and thus, changes were necessary to try and take the next step forward.
Gone is one of the team’s most valuable players from the postseason, DeMarre Carroll, after he inked a free-agent deal with the Toronto Raptors. The Hawks also lost versatile backup big man Pero Antic, who decided to return to play in his native Europe.
But above those departures, the Hawks were able to retain free agent Paul Millsap, one of the distinct leaders on this club. In addition, Atlanta added swingman Tim Hardaway Jr. from the Knicks as Carroll’s potential replacement. With a reliable, consistent core already in place, it’s more than possible Atlanta can maintain their high place in the standings come next season.
Out-of-town Hawks fans certainly won’t want to miss the continued evolution of their current squad, as they try and capture the organization’s first championship since 1958. Luckily, Hipmunk.com has everything a fan could want in crafting their trip to The ATL, with affordable Atlanta flights from most major airline carriers throughout the season. Furthermore, Hipmunk has a variety of cheap hotels in Atlanta GA for fans wanting to make it a true basketball vacation.
Under head coach Mike Budenholzer, the Hawks looks like they have one of the steadiest cores in the league, comprised of Millsap (17 points, eight rebounds, three assists), Al Horford (15 points, seven rebounds, three assists), Jeff Teague (16 points, seven assists, three rebounds) and Kyle Korver ( 12 points, four rebounds three assists). With that fully still intact, the Hawks can still be a dangerous force throughout the campaign.
The Hawks open on the road in Detroit on Oct. 27 and play six of their first 10 games away from Philips Arena. NBA.savant.com estimates the team will travel some 43,015 miles this season, with much of that travel coming in January and March, months when they play 10 road games each.
The entire month of November will also be a challenging time for the Hawks, as they play 17 games that month, the most of any other four-week stretch during the season.
The Hawks embark on their longest homestand of the year from Feb. 19-28, consisting of five games. They’ll be some high-profile contests involved as well, as the Hawks will welcome the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls, and the defending champion Golden State Warriors within that span. The Warriors’ February affair in Atlanta is their only trip to Philips Arena this season so fans will certainly want to look into Hawks tickets for that one.