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A deep dive into the 2023-24 Atlanta Hawks schedule

Let’s break down the schedule in further detail.

2023 NBA Playoffs - Boston Celtics v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks’ schedule for 2023-24 season released recently, giving fans, pundits and of course players alike a chance to visualize the upcoming 2023-24 season and how the road ahead looks for the Atlanta Hawks.

Every year at Peachtree Hoops — for seven seasons now — we’ve broken down the schedule month by month, taken a closer look at the schedule and pinpointed those favorable stretches as well as the more difficult ones too. You can find a previous example here.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the Atlanta Hawks’ 2023-24 schedule, starting with the shortened month October:

Total games: 4

Home games: 2

Road games: 2

Back-to-backs: 1

Longest road trip: 1 game

Longest homestand: 1 games

Average projected opponent winning percentage (based on Caesar’s win totals): 53.6%

It’s a favorable start for the Hawks against the Hornets on the road, though there have been games that have gone horribly wrong for the Hawks in spots when they were expected to win in Charlotte. But with the Hornets projected to win 30 games this season, the Hawks will fancy themselves in this spot to kickstart this season.

If motivation against Charlotte is a concern, there should be none when it comes to their home opener against the New York Knicks. These two sides’ recent history doesn’t need explaining, and there have been a number of classic clashes between these two sides at State Farm Arena. The Knicks are projected to win 46 games, four more than the Hawks’ 42, and New York — as well as the games against the Milwaukee Bucks and Minnesota Timberwolves — should serve as good games to measure the Hawks early season. In fact, all of those games should: a team they’re supposed to beat, a title contender, and a team from each conference who similar competition the Hawks should be looking to beat in the Knicks and Wolves.

Moving on to a busy November:

Total games: 14

Home games: 6

Road games: 8

Back-to-backs: 3

Longest road trip: 4 games

Longest homestand: 4 games

Average projected opponent winning percentage: 48%

A new and jarring wrinkle enters the mix in the form of the mid-season tournament, four games of which taking place in the month of November against the Detroit Pistons on the road, what should be entertaining fixtures against the Indiana Pacers and the Philadelphia 76ers at home and finally a tough prospect on the road in Cleveland. How the format works remains to be seen, but it all kicks off in November on the road in Detroit.

Elsewhere, the schedule in November is road-heavy, with eight of the 14 games on the road including a three game road trip and a four game road trip to begin and end the month. That said, a lot of the teams the Hawks face in November are projected to have poor records, including two meetings with the Washington Wizards. There are fun games (in theory) to be had against the Oklahoma City Thunder, New Orleans Pelicans and the Pacers. Some tougher games are nestled in November in the form of the Boston Celtics (who the Hawks will want to exact some revenge on after suffering their playoff exit), Miami Heat and the Cavaliers on the road for the in-season tournament.

Overall, it is a road heavy schedule but there should be some beatable teams in November for the Hawks. Arguably, you could see November as the month where we find out what sort of team the Hawks are this year — a lot of games the Hawks should be looking to take care of business, if they are the playoff team they believe themselves to be.

On to December:

Total games: 12 (subject to in-season tournament games)

Home games: 4

Road games: 8

Back-to-backs: 2

Longest road trip: 3 games

Longest homestand: 1 game

Average projected opponent winning percentage: 49.6%

A game against the Milwaukee Bucks to begin the month caps off a five game road-trip extending from November, which is immediately followed by a stretch in the schedule blocked off by the NBA for in-season tournament games which are to be announced at a later point.

There’s a brief stop at home for what should be an entertaining fixture against the defending champions, the Denver Nuggets, is followed by a three game spell on the road — two of which come in Toronto before a very difficult back-to-back with Cleveland. While the Pistons are a favorable matchup at home it’s immediately followed by another two games on the road, a quick stop at home against the Memphis Grizzlies before going back on the road.

The Hawks’ road heavy schedule will be difficult to navigate, especially with having no home stretch of games to offset all of those road games. Fatigue could very much play a factor with the sheer amount of travel in the month of December.

On to 2024:

Total games: 15

Home games: 10

Road games: 5

Back-to-backs: 2

Longest road trip: 2 games

Longest homestand: 5 games

Average projected opponent winning percentage: 50%

With 2024 comes the opportunity for the Hawks to make up for their road-heavy schedule up to this point — 10 of their 15 games will be played at State Farm Arena, many of which you’d have to say, on paper, are very winnable.

The Cavs, Sixers and Lakers to end the month represent the most difficult challenges at home, but a great stretch for the Hawks at home, including a five-game home stand — including the MLK Day at home to the Spurs — as well as another three-game stint at home to end the month

The Heat/Cavs back-to-back is a very competitive set of fixtures, and two games in California in Sacramento and Golden State should serve to be entertaining ties.

All in all, this absolutely has to be the month — regardless of how the season has gone up to this point — the Hawks need to strike as the playoff race takes shape.

To February:

Total games: 12

Home games: 8

Road games: 4

Back-to-backs: 2

Longest road trip: 2 games

Longest homestand: 3 games x2

Average projected opponent winning percentage: 50%

A shortened month due to the All Star break but February carries on the theme from January where the Hawks have a largely home-based schedule with eight out of the 12 games in Atlanta.

To begin the month, another three game home stand as part of a larger six game stand at State Farm Arena from the end of January as the Hawks welcome Western Conference opponents in February — all of which will test the hosts with the Suns, Clippers and Warriors all with championship aspirations.

A challenging two game spell on the road against the Celtics and Sixers is followed by three winnable games before the break. After it, three games at home including a return to State Farm Arena for John Collins, now of the Utah Jazz. To cap off the month, a very rare February 29th game takes place in Brooklyn — to the victor go the spoils.

To the nitty-gritty of March:

Total games: 15

Home games: 7

Road games: 8

Back-to-backs: 3

Longest road trip: 5 games

Longest homestand: 5 games

Average projected opponent winning percentage: 54.6%

An even enough split in terms of in the number of home and road games but March represents the most difficult month in terms of opposition: a five game Western Conference road trip including the two L.A. teams and the Phoenix Suns, not to mention games against the Knicks and Cavaliers, two games against the Boston Celtics and a game against the Bucks to end the month.

A five game home stand to end the month should hopefully provide some relief for the Hawks, even if the opposition is strong.

March could prove to be a make-or-break for the Hawks’ season: the difference between potentially playoff, or play-in...or play-not at all.

Finally, to April:

Total games: 8

Home games: 3

Road games: 5

Back-to-backs: 2

Longest road trip: 2 games x2

Longest homestand: 2 games

Average projected opponent winning percentage: 49.7%

A more hectic April than perhaps some previous seasons — eight games, two back-to-backs and five games on the road, including the Mavericks, Nuggets and the Timberwolves. A few winnable spots here, likely against the Pistons and potentially the Pacers to end the season on the road.

In closing

Similar to last season, the difficult part of the schedule comes in the first few months of the season: another road-heavy first half of the season before some relief comes in January where the schedule relaxes somewhat. March could prove to be a very telling month; that is a brutal month packed with teams with high aspirations. One or two will likely drop out (some teams always do) by that point but one thing is certainly clear...

The competition is stacked, and bookmakers don’t rate the Hawks highly in comparison to their competitors (Caeser’s project 17 teams with higher win totals than the Hawks).

Can the 2023-24 Atlanta Hawks rise to the challenge?