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Starting the real season

The problem with an 82 game season is it keeps going. Good starts only allow for good middles which only aid good ends which only get you good starts to the playoffs.

Last year the Hawks ended December 21-10.

Standing 18-6 this season, Atlanta has seven games to go (five on the road). Two of those are against Cleveland plus a game each with Utah and Denver. It is not out of the realm of possibilities for the Hawks to finish the year 3-4 and be right where they were last year. 82 games is long, but the length is not the hard part. These guys are athletes. They are young. No, the hard part is not letting up.

So Friday's bold prediction is this is the most important weekend of the young season. A sweep of Utah and Chicago to kick off the longest (tied for at least) road trip of the season would be huge. You can certainly skate through stretches of the season. This is not one of them.

It would be hard to argue the Hawks out of an "A" grade to start the year. Pessimist might go A- for the New York loss, but you go B+ and that means you are a pessimist and crazy. But how many wins do the Hawks need to close out the year and keep their "A" grade? Let the red pen debating begin.