Before I get to my incredibly nuanced observations on the latest Atlanta Hawk effort to prove they belong with the top teams of the NBA, I just want to give some credit to the hardest working people in sports. Not the coaches, the players, the administrators, the trainers, the media, the entourage (am I leaving anybody out? I don’t think so, but if I do I apologize. Wait, where was I? Oh, yeah, I remember). It’s those hard working people at every arena across the country. They are ushers, work the concession stands, and make sure our experiences are enjoyable. They are like umpires. You don’t notice them unless they screw up. This brings me to Atlanta. Over this weekend, Philips Arena has been home to a (in order) hockey game on Friday, Hawks game on Saturday, hockey game on Sunday, and Hawks game on Monday. Not only will these people work four days in a row, often standing up, but the maintenance people have to change the arena’s configuration from hockey to basketball to hockey and back to basketball again. I know it is a smooth performance, but even they have to get tired of it all the time.
Okay, enough waxing philosophical (which is a fancy term meaning talking about random stuff that nobody pays any attention to). Atlanta lost to Dallas last night by a 98-93 score. Dallas stretched their lead to 18 points in the second quarter. Give the Hawks credit. They did not lie down. They fought hard, and were able to slowly come back in the second half. If the game was an extra quarter, they might have tied it. We’ll never know. Atlanta sees its’ record drop to 8-5, but the interesting thing is that they are now 3-4 at home. This is after last season, where they only lost seven games at home the entire regular season (and that was before the Magic buzzsaw at the end). Before, I’ll start believing in this squad, I’ll need to see some hard empirical proof, namely a win over a good team. Atlanta beats up the weaker squads. That’s good, but they have to yet to beat one with legitimate title dreams. One comes calling on Monday, as the Celtics visit. This should be interesting. You’re not going to see Minnesota in the playoffs (they would only see the Terrible Wolves in the finals, but you get my point). You have to beat the good teams to advance. It’s a simple formula the Hawks have not mastered.
The schedule maker is being devilish again. As we get close to Thanksgiving, Atlanta has five games this week, including a pair of back-to-backs at each end. The only piece of good news is it’s not a bunch of world beaters: after Boston, it’s NJ, Washington, the Knicks, and Toronto. Plenty of time to get a winning streak going. But I’d rather trade a win over Boston for a loss to one of those.
Marvin Williams logged about twenty-five minutes last night, but word is he’s not 100% from the bone bruise that sidelined him at the beginning of the year. Other players have some nagging injuries as well, and this slate won’t make it easy to recover. I’ll check in as best I can during this stretch. I have a job, so that is my priority. Called a Georgia Perimeter game last night, and might have another one next Saturday. So, if I don’t post between now and then, have a Happy Thanksgiving.
About the Author
Written by John Morgo
John Morgo lives in Atlanta, GA where he has done broadcast work for CNN, The Weather Channel and Encompass Digital Media. As of right now, he does Internet play-by-play for Georgia Perimeter College and Norcross High School. With GPC, he is the voice of the men's soccer, basketball, and baseball teams.