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A deep dive into the 2018-2019 schedule for the Atlanta Hawks

A thorough look at the newly released schedule.

NBA: Summer League-New York Knicks at Atlanta Hawks Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It’s August, and we’re in the deep doldrums of the dead season - the draft has come and gone, Summer League has come and gone and the main buzz of free agency (and other trades) has come and gone.

However, some new life was breathed into the NBA and its upcoming season with the announcement of the 2018-19 NBA schedule on Friday afternoon. We learned many key NBA dates on that day, such as when DeMar DeRozan would return to Toronto as a member of the San Antonio Spurs, when Kawhi Leonard would return to San Antonio as a Toronto Raptor, when LeBron James will return to Cleveland as a Laker and so on...

For the Atlanta Hawks, a match of such magnitude and emotion that comes with a returning All-Star — with Al Horford, Paul Millsap, Jeff Teague and Kyle Korver all having had made their Atlanta returns with their respective teams in seasons past — is not in their schedule this season but, that being said, we’re going to look at the rest of it today in depth, highlighting some interesting nuances/key dates of their schedule along the way, in what could be a tough season ahead for such a young team.

Let’s get to it.

As of last season, the NBA’s regular season’s dawn shifted from the latter stages of October to the middle of October in an effort to lighten the load players and staff have to carry when it comes to fatigue and travel, and further efforts this season have been made to help make life for the players a little easier — less back-to-backs and no ‘four-in-fives’.

Here’s how the Hawks’ October schedule looks:

Total games: 7

Home games: 2

Road games: 5

Back-to-backs: 1

Longest road trip: 3 games

Longest homestand: 2 games

With the second stage of the Hawks’ arena renovations taking place throughout the summer — and the Hawks in preseason action at Georgia Tech again this year — it should’ve been expected that the Hawks were going to open their 2018-19 campaign on the road. But unlike last season where it was a five-game road trip to begin the season, it’s a three-game trip this time around, starting with a trip to the Big Apple for a showdown against the New York Knicks.

The schedule begins out a tad road-heavy, with five road games taking place in the month of October with two home games in between, including the Hawks’ home-opener against the Dallas Mavericks, where fans will get to see the new-and-improved Philips Arena as well as a rookie matchup between Trae Young and Luka Doncic — who Hawks GM Travis Schlenk elected to trade to Dallas in exchange for Young and a future first round pick. There’ll be a lot of national interest in that game — the reception of that Doncic-Young swap was not positive, and fans all across the NBA will be extremely quick to point out should Doncic come out on top over Young.

Two matchups against the Cavaliers round out a busy October to begin the new season, as well as a quick reunion with former Hawk Mike Muscala in Philadelphia, while Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce will also reacquaint himself with old friends as he squares off against his mentor and Sixers head coach Brett Brown in the same game.


Total games: 16

Home games: 8

Road games: 8

Back-to-backs: 2

Longest road trip: 4 games

Longest homestand: 4 games

With November comes the full brunt of the NBA season as the season is truly underway...

For the Hawks, a balanced schedule in terms of home and road games with eight each — a four game road trip (featuring matchups against the new-look Lakers with LeBron James, and Golden State) immediately followed by a four game homestand, with the likes of the Eastern Conference favorites Boston Celtics coming to town as well as the Toronto Raptors, who could find themselves in a similar position should Kawhi Leonard return to the form we all know he is capable of.

The Hawks also get their matchups in the Southeast Division underway against the Miami Heat at both ends of the month while also squaring off against Kemba Walker and the Charlotte Hornets three times in the month of November. A tough game on the road in OKC — in what will be the first opportunity for the Hawks to meet former point guard Dennis Schröder in his new environment — rounds off the month of November.


Total games: 13

Home games: 6

Road games: 7

Back-to-backs: 1

Longest road trip: 3 games

Longest homestand: 3 games

A quieter month than November but plenty of action as the Hawks welcome the Warriors in what should be a sellout on December 3rd. The Hawks will meet John Wall and the Washington Wizards for the first time and then one more time in December, as well as competing in two meetings against Victor Oladipo and the very intriguing Indiana Pacers to close out 2018.

Former Hawk Paul Millsap and the Denver Nuggets are also in town and there are trips to the Boston Garden, Maddison Square Garden and Barclays Center all to be had in December, as well as the Target Center against what will surely be a tough Minnesota Timberwolves side.

Not a ton to say about December’s matchups...not exactly a lot of sexy games on (though maybe Young vs. Doncic Round 2 could be fun, as well as Young vs. Marvin Bagley III because, well, rookie matchups...)


Total games: 14

Home games: 5

Road games: 9

Back-to-backs: 1

Longest road trip: 4 games (part of a seven game road trip extending into February)

Longest homestand: 4 games

The turn of the new year is marked by the most road games in the season as the Hawks are on the road for nine games to begin 2019 — from the Toronto Raptors to the Hawks’ first meeting with the Milwaukee Bucks, whose new head coach (and former Hawks coach) Mike Budenholzer will return to Atlanta for the first time as Bucks head coach on January 13th.

Dennis Schröder will also make his Atlanta return on January 15th as the Thunder roll into town and it’ll be interesting to hear what sort of reception Schröder will receive...

Elsewhere, the Hawks will indeed enjoy a home game for MLK Day, the Hawks’ — at least so far — only nationally televised game of the season, against the Orlando Magic. Not exactly a stellar opponent for a national TV audience to feast their eyes upon but, hey, if the choir is out then it won’t be too bad...maybe. Probably not. Sorry, Orlando...

At the end of January, the Hawks will embark on a whopping seven-game road that extends into February (beginning in the East before knocking out a number of Western Conference stops).


Total games: 12

Home games: 8

Road games: 4

Back-to-backs: 3

Longest road trip: 3 games (wrapping up a seven-game road trip that began to end January)

Longest homestand: 7 games

The Hawks will enter February exhausted as they wrap up their seven-game road trip but the good news is as soon as the Hawks return home they begin a seven-game homestand, the last two games of the homestand taking place after the All-Star break.

Although February only contains 12 games, it contains the tied-most back-to-backs of the season with three — something to keep in mind.

The Hawks will also welcome the Los Angeles Lakers to town on January 12th... The Lakers always bring with them a handy Laker contingent from whatever city they play in but with LeBron James now in the can only imagine how that’s going to play out.

The Hawks will also wrap up a number of season series in February with the likes of the Hornets, Suns, Wizards, Timberwolves, Knicks and Raptors series’ all being wrapped up in February.


Total games: 15

Home games: 10

Road games: 5

Back-to-backs: 3

Longest road trip: 2 games (twice)

Longest homestand: 4 games

The home-heavy schedule continues into March as the Hawks will enjoy the most home games of the season with 10 home games in the month of March.

There’s quite a number of late first meetings in March as the Hawks will see the San Antonio Spurs and the New Orleans Pelicans for the first time of the season in March (knocking out the season series with the Pelicans shortly after saying hello). The Hawks will also greet Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and the 76ers to Philips Arena for the first time this season, as well as the return of Mike Muscala to Philips.

March is action-packed with a home-and-away against the Bulls to begin the month and games against the Rockets, Celtics, Trail Blazers, Jazz, Heat and Bucks — to name but a few — to come as the season begins to wind-down.

Total games: 5

Home games: 2

Road games: 3

Back-to-backs: 1

Longest road trip: 2 games

Longest homestand: 1 games (twice)

As you’d probably expect with 20 home games in their last 29 to end the season, the month of April sees the Hawks close out the regular season with a few road games (including the last against a Western Conference opponent in San Antonio and the Southeast Division in Orlando) before wrapping up the 82 game season in Indiana.

And there you go — 82 regular season games (and unlikely to be any more, since a spot in the playoffs would seem very unlikely for the Hawks).

The Hawks will be on the road often to begin the season but once that calendar turns to February they worst will be behind them and they can enjoy the pleasures of being home more often — but what will the record be by the time they limp into February after that seven-game trip?

Time will tell but now we have the schedule all there is to do is...wait until October.