2010-11 Atlanta Hawks Schedule: Highlights and Five Can't-Miss Matchups

John Boller@jboll0327Correspondent IAugust 11, 2010

2010-11 Atlanta Hawks Schedule: Highlights and Five Can't Miss Matchups

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    The NBA has released the 2010-2011 schedule and even though we are a long way from the Atlanta Hawks’ opener on October 27, it is never too early break down the schedule and begin predicting at what might be.


    We already know the team that the Hawks will be putting out onto the floor in 2010-2011.

    Atlanta’s biggest task in the off-season was to try and resign Joe Johnson. In case you have been living under a rock during the NBA off-season, Johnson did resign with the Hawks.

    In fact, Johnson made the most money out of all the free agents. That’s right, Johnson got the most money over guys like James, Wade, Nowitzki, Stoudemire, Gay, and Bosh.


    While the players on the Hawks remain pretty similar to last year’s, Atlanta’s staff got some minor tweaking. Mike Woodson is out and his assistant, Larry Drew is in.

    Whether or not this will be the change that helps the Hawks get over their one-and-down in the playoffs syndrome will have to wait.


    While I was not a huge fan of the signing of Drew at first, I have grown to be content with a little more these days. This team keeps improving and to risk breaking up that chemistry by bringing in someone totally new probably would not be the best thing.

    However, management definitely overpaid Johnson. His contract leaves the Hawks with little financial room in the future. The time is now for the Hawks to try, and see if they are serious contenders in the Eastern Conference. It will be no easy task.


    The Heat are the obvious favorite to be the top dog in the East, and the Orlando Magic and Boston Celtics are still forces to be reckoned with.

    Also, the Chicago Bulls have made significant improvements to their roster and the Milwaukee Bucks proved to be a pesky nuisance for the Hawks in the most recent playoffs; a seven-game nuisance.


Quick Highlights

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    Game 1 is an away game for the Hawks with a trip to Memphis to play the Grizzlies. In fact, the Hawks open up with two road games and three in four nights. The first home game is on October 30 against the Washington Wizards, and John Wall.


    Luckily for the Hawks, their longest road trip will come happen during the All-Star weekend. It would have been a 12-day West Coast trip, but the All-Star weekend will give Atlanta a little vacation in between the season’s longest road trip.


    However, following the long road trip in February, the Hawks get to play nine of their next 10 games at home with only one back-to-back.

    Atlanta will endure 23 back-to-back sets on the year. But, 14 of their last 21 games are at home.


    Also, Atlanta fans will get to see their Hawks play 14 times on national TV, including hosting a game on Thanksgiving Night against the Washington Wizards.


Miami Heat

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    The Miami Heat and the Atlanta Hawks won’t meet until December 4. That is the only time the two will meet in 2010, with three of the four games scheduled in 2011.


    The Heat are actually the Hawks’ home finale on April 11. Other than being in the same division, I wouldn't say that these two teams are rivals.

    But because of the team that Miami has stacked together, you know that every team in the league will want to get their best shot at them.

    What better way to do that and taking them on in “The Highlight Factory’s” final regular season game of the 2010-11 season. Sounds like the perfect challenge to me.


Orlando Magic

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    The Hawks won’t have to wait to long before they get their first shot at revenge at the team that ousted them in the 2010 NBA Playoffs in record fashion. The Magic and Hawks will meet for the first time in the 2010-11 season in Orlando on November 8.


    In fact, the division foes will meet in Orlando for the first two of their four games during the regular season. They will meet three times in 2010, one more time in Orlando on December 6 and then play host on December 20.

    After that, the two teams won’t see each other again until 2011 in March.


Milwaukee Bucks

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    Just like how the Boston Celtics and Hawks created a rivalry through the playoffs, so have the Bucks and Atlanta. They weren’t supposed to challenge the Hawks, especially without Andrew Bogut, but the Bucks made it a difficult first round for the Hawks in the 2010 NBA Playoffs.


    With that seven-game clash in the playoffs a new rivalry was born. Milwaukee comes to Atlanta on November 10. Atlanta will then go up to Milwaukee on December 26, then the two teams will meet twice in January to complete their four-game series matchup.


    I have no doubt that this matchup will be a heated one for both teams after the great intense playoff series the two teams had in the opening round of 2010.






Chicago Bulls

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    The Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks don’t really have a rivalry, but I think one could be created between the two teams this year. After Miami, Boston, and Cleveland I think that Chicago and Atlanta will be competing for the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference.


    The Bulls had an excellent off-season. They may have not gotten LeBron James, but the players they picked up from the Utah Jazz give the Bulls new life.


    What I like even more about the two teams is when they play each other. They don’t meet until March, meaning playoff positioning could definitely be on the line. Like the Celtics, the Hawks and Bulls just meet three times, all in the month of March.

    Also, just like Boston, two of three games will be in Atlanta.


Boston Celtics

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    Last but certainly not least, are the Boston Celtics. Boston and Atlanta will only meet three times next year during the regular season.

    At least two of three meetings will be in Atlanta. The first meeting is on November 22 in Atlanta , and then the Hawks will go to Boston on December 16.


    Unfortunately, the NBA will make us wait until April 1 before we get to see the rivalry in action again. In case you forgot, the Hawks actually swept the defending Eastern Conference champions during the regular season last year.

    Boston has a new look this year, so it will be interesting to see if the Hawks can bring out the brooms for the second straight year.