The full schedule for the 2019-20 NBA season is out and the Atlanta Hawks will begin their 82-game marathon on Oct. 24 against the Detroit Pistons. As always, there will be plenty of intrigue along the way but, if you are looking for a few particular dates to add to the calendar, we have 10 games to watch for your perusal.
Here they are in chronological order and, since everyone will presumably dial in to the season opener, we’ll leave that one off for now.
- Oct. 31 - Hawks vs. Heat - The Hawks only have two national TV games (note: this does not include NBA TV offerings) and the first one arrives on Halloween. Other than the season opener, it is possible that no game will provide this much intrigue, as a coast-to-coast audience will get to watch Trae Young and John Collins face off against Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. Admittedly, Miami isn’t the sexiest opponent but Halloween should be fun.
- Nov. 8 - Hawks vs. Kings - Dewayne Dedmon returns to Atlanta early in the season and that is cause for commemoration. In this space, we’ve spoke fondly of Dedmon and, even if it made sense to move on considering the contract he gathered in Sacramento, it will be odd to watch him on the other side. Oh, this game also features a spectacular point guard match-up between Young and De’Aaron Fox.
- Dec. 4 - Hawks vs. Nets - Brooklyn will be worth monitoring all season long, as the Hawks own their 2020 first-round pick. Beyond that, this is the return of Taurean Prince to Atlanta and the first of four match-ups is featured here as a result.
- Dec. 15 - Hawks vs. Lakers - LeBron James and Anthony Davis coming to town on a Sunday evening in December? Seems pretty self-explanatory to me.
- Jan. 20 - Hawks vs. Raptors - MLK Day is always a spectacle in Atlanta and the Hawks are playing host to the reigning champs. This is an NBA TV broadcast and, on the floor, a battle between Collins and Pascal Siakam should be worth the price of admission.
- Jan. 22 - Hawks vs. Clippers - If we’re being honest, the two teams that will dominate the headlines all season long will be the Lakers and Clippers. For the sake of entertainment, this game gets bland if Kawhi Leonard and/or Paul George don’t play but the Clippers are the betting favorites to win the title. Circle this one.
- Feb. 1 - Hawks at Mavericks - After facing off in October last season, Young and Luka Doncic will have to wait until February this time around. The ROY finalists are discussed in the same breath over and over again. Honestly, it’s a surprise that this one (or the rematch) didn’t get national TV love.
- Feb. 7 - Hawks at Celtics - Long-time Hawks fans hate the Celtics and other factors don’t matter. With that said, this is also the first game after the trade deadline and Atlanta could be active again.
- Feb. 29 - Hawks vs. Blazers - It would be fair to say that Kent Bazemore’s return to Atlanta might be even weirder than that of Dedmon and Prince. Bazemore was the longest-tenured member of the roster before the trade that sent him to Portland and the tribute video is already being made.
- Apr. 15 - Hawks vs. Cavaliers - This is the season finale and, for the first time in a while, it could be meaningful in a playoff push. Cleveland might be really bad this season but, hey, the last game of the regular season is noteworthy.