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Why It’s a Good Thing the Circus is Coming to Town

Posted By John Morgo On Feb 12 2011 @ 9:55 pm In Atlanta Hawks | No Comments

In Atlanta, the middle of February means a couple of things. Spring Training is tantalizingly close, the odds are pretty good that I will have yet another depressing Valentine’s Day, and the Barnum & Bailey Circus will make its’ annual pilgrimage to Philips Arena. Every year, like clockwork, the circus comes to town. But that means Philips’ other tenants, the Atlanta Hawks and the team Atlanta Spirit would just love to get rid of, (also known as the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers) have to hit the road. In the Hawks case, it’s an eight game road trip with six on the West Coast after the looming All-Star break. (And I wasn’t asked to blog from Staples Center – Man, I’ve got to do something to get noticed). Atlanta’s next home game is March 2 against the Bulls. But this isn’t bad. Why not? Because the Hawks have one of the better records away from home. It’s true. Not only that, some of their worst performances (like Tuesday’s 117-73 mauling at the hands of the Sixers) have come at home. I’m not sure why. Maybe they get a little too comfortable? Anyway, there are still neck and neck with Orlando in the standings. A good performance on this mammoth road trip could give them some separation.

Good news on the injury front. Al Horford played tonight for the first time in two weeks after straining his back. He piled up 41 minutes and had 16 points but it wasn’t enough as the Hawks squandered a 13-point lead to lose at home to the Bobcats, 88-86. (See the trend about not playing well at home). Josh Smith had 28, but nobody else really stepped up, as Joe and Mike Bibby each had 11, and Zaza had 10. The road trip kicks off with games at Detroit and New York before the break. Those games should set the tone for a very critical eight game stretch. We’ll see how they do.

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