Today, the Atlanta Hawks unveiled their schedule for next season. The home opener will give the Hawks an early opportunity to check out top draft pick John Wall, as they host the Wizards on October 30th. This includes, for the Hawks, 14 games on National TV, though half of those national appearances are on far-from-universal NBATV. Four of the others will be on ESPN while the remaining three will be on TV.
Games worth seeing live:
- November 22nd, Boston Celtics at Atlanta Hawks: It always seems interesting when these two teams, regardless. Both will be returning essentially the same units from last season, when the Hawks swept the Celtics during the regular season (though, to be fair, they did miss KG twice). Kendrick Perkins may be out for most of the year, but the Celtics will hope to replace his contributions by adding the O'Neals.
- March 18th, Miami Heat at Atlanta Hawks: To be honest, I'm much less excited about this game than perhaps I should be. Before this offseason, I actually liked LeBron James. The self-serving egofest that was improperly dubbed "The Decision" (this decision seems to have been made sometime in 2008) is distasteful enough to be used as raptor repellent. Sure, it benefited the Boys and Girls' Club, but they'd have made significantly more money if LeBron had simply said "I'm signing with Miami, and I'm going to donate 5% of the my contract to the Boys' and Girls' club. Good night, ya'll." Regardless, it's this kind of grouping of elite talent deserves to be seen live, at least once.
- March 30th, Orlando Magic at Atlanta Hawks: It's impossible to see how the season will play out, where teams will stand in their conferences and divisions. That said, if there's anything we can predict at all about the NBA season, it's that this game is going to playoff implications. A late season contest between what should be two of the 4-5 teams in the Eastern Conference is worth the price of admission.
- April 1st, Boston Celtics at Atlanta Hawks: April Fools day contests are a celebrated tradition deeply revered throughout the history of this franchise. Oh wait, they're not? Regardless, the same thing about the previous game applies here. Also, everything I said about the first game. It's late enough in the season to be important, but not so late that it's irrelevant.