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Schedule released for ‘First Half’ of 2020-21 NBA season, Atlanta Hawks to face Chicago Bulls in opener

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NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Atlanta Hawks Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier in the offseason, the NBA announced that the 2020-21 regular season schedule would not be announced in typical fashion. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, each team will only be scheduled to play 72 games, instead of the normal 82-game slate, and the league is releasing only the “First Half” of the schedule — covering Dec. 22 through Mar. 4 — before the downbeat of the campaign. Earlier in the week, the national television schedule for the first three days was released but, while the Atlanta Hawks were not included, the full First Half slate arrived on Friday.

The Hawks will open the 2020-21 season with a match-up on the road against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday, Dec. 23. From there, Atlanta will have its home opener on Monday, Dec. 28 against the Detroit Pistons. The schedule features 17 home games and 20 road games, with seven back-to-back sets.

Atlanta will also have its traditional home game on MLK Day, taking on the Minnesota Timberwolves at 2:30 pm ET on Monday, Jan. 18 at State Farm Arena. The final game of the First Half will be a road contest against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, Mar. 3.

The MLK Day game is one of four on national television for the Hawks in the First Half. That contest will be on NBA TV, along with a Dec. 26 game against Memphis and a Jan. 24 game against Milwaukee. The Hawks will face the Dallas Mavericks on Feb. 10, with that game set to broadcast by ESPN.

As part of the release, the Hawks indicate that “all regionally available games will be televised on FOX Sports Southeast and FOX Sports GO” and “all games will also air on the Hawks’ radio flagship 92-9 The Game and the Hawks Radio Network.”

As an important note, the NBA indicates the Second Half of the schedule — covering Mar. 11 through May 16 — will be released “during the latter part of the First Half portion of the schedule,” and that release will include the remainder of each team’s games, as well as any postponed contests during the First Half. Finally, the league adds that only the postponed games “that can be reasonably added to the Second Half schedule” will be held.

The full schedule for the First Half is below.

Stay tuned.