Atlanta Hawks Schedule 2011: Difficult Three Game Road Stretch Begins In Houston

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 30: Jeff Teague #0 of the Atlanta Hawks is called for an offensive foul as he drives against Kris Humphries #43 of the New Jersey Nets at Philips Arena on December 30, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Atlanta passed the first test of the season by navigating the first three games against two lesser opponents to emerge 3-0. No matter what you might think about Friday's game against a motivated New Jersey team that was embarrassed on opening day, it would have been much worse to enter this road trip coming off of a loss.

Saturday night, Atlanta begins a three game road trip that after a stop in Houston will take them through Miami and Chicago. The Rockets enter the game at just 1-2 this season and are dealing with their own schedule issues. Tonight's game will be the final game of their only back-to-back-to-back set of the season. The Rockets defeated the San Antonio Spurs at the Toyota Center on Thursday before falling on the road Friday night in Memphis. It will be the second straight game for the Hawks but it might be wise for Atlanta to pick the pace up against what has to be a somewhat tired Rockets club.

After a travel day on Sunday, Atlanta will prepare for a back-to-back set of games against what most people regard as being the class of the Eastern Conference. Atlanta travels to Miami to take on the Heat on Monday and then heads up to Chicago on Tuesday for a playoff rematch with the Chicago Bulls.

As of Saturday, the Miami Heat are 4-0 and after crushing Dallas and Boston to start the season have survived two upset bids against Charlotte and Minnesota. The Heat play the Bobcats again on Sunday so the Hawks will be catching them on the second day of a back-to-back on Monday.

The Bulls are currently 3-1 with their only loss being on the road against Golden State. Chicago plays again on Sunday against Memphis but has an off day on Monday before matching up with the Hawks on Tuesday night.

For more on the Atlanta Hawks be sure to check out SB Nation Atlanta, follow Peachtree Hoops on Twitter or visit the Peachtree Hoops Facebook Fan Page.

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