Why traffic to Atlanta Hawks game Friday could be far worse than usual 


Game 6 of the Hawks-Wizards Eastern Conference playoff series will be at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, the NBA announced Tuesday night. 


If necessary, Game 7 will be played in Washington, D.C. on Sunday. Time and network are to be announced.

Grappling with game day traffic is rarely a breeze for Atlanta Hawks fans heading to Philips Arena (though later start times this season seemed to help). But Friday could present particularly bad traffic conditions because President Donald Trump will be addressing the National Rifle Association’s annual convention right next door to Philips Arena the same day.

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Whether or not there will be traffic snarls will depend on what time Trump speaks, and when the game begins for the Hawks-Washington Wizards play off matchup. Wednesday’s  Hawks-Wizards playoff game in Washington, D.C., has been set for 6 p.m. Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics-Chicago Bulls are set to square off against each other Wednesday in the prime slot of 8:30 p.m.

A Friday start time of 6 p.m. at Philips Arena for game 6 could have spelled trouble for traffic. 

With Trump’s time of address still unknown but scheduled for Friday, fans should allow plenty of extra time to park and get to their seats in Philips Arena, and also consider MARTA, particularly for those coming from north of the affected area on I-85. Philips Arena is located directly outside the Dome/GWCC/Philips Arena/CNN Center stop on the Blue and Green lines. MARTA’s Park and Ride locations can be found at which also has up-to-date information on schedules, fares, and more.

Also using the WAZE travel navigation app is recommended. 

On Monday, the Hawks tied up the series with a big win at home

The AJC’s Mark Bradley has this to say about the game:

Game 4 of Hawks-Wizards met the criterion for critical, and darned if it didn’t feel fairly eventful. The Hawks could have lost big but won 111-101, sending the cocksure Washington Wizards home to D.C. feeling rather less cocky and no longer sure of anything. Yes, the Hawks still have to win in Washington to take the series, but these the Wizards really don’t appear to be anything special.

If they were, they’d have taken Game 4 and run with it. Instead they got run down. They came apart in the way a good team does not. As for the Hawks: They prevailed on a night when not much went right early, which suggests — not for the first time, we note — that this unassuming team is at its best when you figure it’s about to get routed. (Which makes no sense, but there it is.)

RELATED: How the Hawks’ confidence remained with series-tying win over Wizards

RELATED: More about the NRA convention in Atlanta 

Ersan Ilyasova (pronounced ER-san eel-ya-SO-va) from Turkey is the third international player on the Hawks roster.

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