The Hawks west coast gauntlet on a scale of 1-10

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@ LA Lakers

Chances of Winning scale of 1-10 (one being a gold medal game against the 1992 dream team and 10 being a show down between a starting five of all Esteban Batista's)........4.

  • Too high you say? No Flip Murray you remind? Well, I think Al Horford can own Pau Gasol. In fact, I have seen it done in person. Besides, out of the break who knows what teams will show up at Staples. Heck, maybe I should push this bad boy to 5.

Must win scale of 1-10 (one being the free, open exhibition scrimmage the Hawks put on and ten being a playoff clenching game against the Boston Celtics)....3

  • Sure it is not expected or required, but gets two notches simply for setting the tone of the road trip.

@ Sacramento

Chances of winning (one being Wisconsin against Davidson in the 2008 NCAA tournament and ten being Sacramento playing the Hawks....the Blackhawks).....8.

  • The Hawks will mark this game as its easiest possible win on the trip. Hopefully, that means they mark it as a must win and not a guaranteed win. I am just excited to watch Sheldon again.

Must win (one being a game of Bochi ball with your little nephew and ten being a game of bochi ball with your buddies from college)....8.5.

  • Assuming the Hawks come into this game 0-1, a loss could set the team on course for an 0-5 road trip and a horrible start to the last thirty games. So what I am saying is we need a win here. At least Ron Artest will not be taking 20-45 foul shots for them this time around.

@ Portland

Chances of winning (one being me when I play the Mega Millions lottery and ten being when this guy when he plays the Mega Millions lottery)....1.6.

  • Last year this game almost crushed my entire soul. To avoid such distress and therapy bills, I am placing little hope or expectations in this game.

Must win (one being Solomon Jones and Mario West's pre-game shooting contest and ten being Joe Johnson's shooting contest with Brandon Roy in this game)....2.

  • I am more excited about watching Greg Oden than I am about winning this game, but that is just what my therapist told me to write as a prevention exercise.

@ Utah

Chances of Winning (one being Joe Johnson for mvp of this years all-star game and ten being Shaq if he ever competes in Dancing with the Stars)...4.5.

  • I think the Hawks pull out one of these last two games, but I also think Jerry Sloan could say nothing the entire game and still coach better than Mike Woodson so I lean toward the Denver game as the more likely win. But as long as Omek Okur doesn't shoot from the outside like an on fire Reggie Miller I say the Hawks have a chance.

Must win (one being the Hawks "dream seat upgrade" and ten being "Spin it to Win it")...4

  • Utah does not lose many games at home, and I don't see a loss here being especially crushing, and this Jazz team is not good enough for a win to be overly inspiring.

@ Denver

Chances of winning (one being Mike Woodson in a smiling contest and ten being Mike Woodson in a "say the same exact thing in different ways" contest)...5.5.

  • Solidify a decently hopeful 2-3 road trip? Fight off a crippling 0-5 trip? Come in gang busters at 2-2? Ready to solve the recession at 3-1? This number depends a lot on how the Hawks have done on the trip, but I certainly think the game is within reach. I expect a big defensive game by Marvin and a strong offensive one by Josh Smith for no other reason than that is what I expect it will take to win here.

Must win (one being a game of pencil pop at age twenty-five and ten being a game of pencil pop at age nine)....6.8.

  • No matter the outcome of the first four games, finishing a road swing strong always sweetens and sometimes saves a trip. This is one where you hope the teams puts everything on the line.

For those of us that still have firm memories nightmares of the Texas triangle trip, this road trip raises legitimate fear. However, road war also provides the platform for a statement. In the NBA, you get three chances for new beginnings during the season. At the start of the season, at the all-star break, and at the start of the playoffs. The Hawks are one for one so far. Here is to round two.

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