The NBA schedule is out and the Hawks will open the 2016-17 regular season at home against the Wizards on Oct. 27 before ending it at the Pacers on April 12. There will be a number of interesting matchups in between, including the returns of Al Horford and Jeff Teague, both long-time Hawks now wearing different uniforms for the first time in their professional careers.
Here is an inside look at the Hawks’ schedule:
Horford is now a Celtic after signing as an unrestricted free agent this summer following nine seasons in Atlanta. He will play his first game against the Hawks on Jan. 18 at Philips Arena. The game will be nationally televised by ESPN. Teague, now a Pacer after an offseason trade sent him home after seven seasons with the Hawks, will play his first game against the Hawks on Nov. 23 in Indianapolis. His first trip and only trip to Atlanta will be on March 5.
The Hawks play the Celtics, Pacers, Raptors and Pistons just three times this season. The Raptors and Pacers make only one trip to Atlanta.
Howard in Houston
The Hawks lured eight-time All-Star Dwight Howard back home to Atlanta as an unrestricted free agent this summer. On Feb. 2, he will return to Houston for the first time since leaving the Rockets after last season.
On national TV
The Hawks will be on national television eight times, four each on ESPN and TNT.
They will play the Celtics, Pistons, Wizards and Pacers on ESPN and the Rockets, Trail Blazers, Spurs and Celtics on TNT. The Hawks also are scheduled for eight games on NBA TV.
The local television schedule on FOX Sports Southeast will be released at a later date. All games will be broadcast by 92.9 FM.
Cavaliers and Warriors
The NBA champion Cavaliers will be at Philips Arena on March 3 and April 9. They played in Atlanta only once last season. The Hawks are in Cleveland on Nov. 8 and April 7.
The Western Conference champion Warriors will face the Hawks in Oakland on Nov. 28 and in Atlanta on March 6.
The Hawks have moved the start times for weekday games Monday through Thursday back to 7:30 p.m. The team will continue to host Friday games at 8 p.m. Times for Saturday and Sunday will vary.
Home and away
The Hawks’ longest home stand will be 10 days and six games from March 1-10. Their longest road trip will be eight days and five games from Nov. 23-30.
- The Hawks have 18 back-to-back games. That is more than the league average (16.3) and conference average (16.5). Two of the back-to-backs require no travel, only one is over 750 miles and four require a time zone change. They had 19 back-to-back games last season.
- The schedule includes 12 games when the Hawks are “fresh,” games when they did not play the day before but their opponent did. They had 10 such games last season. This season features 11 games when the Hawks are “tired,” games when they played the night before but their opponent did not. They had nine such games last season
- The Hawks will play 20 of their 41 home games on weekends (eight Friday, six Saturday and six Sunday).
- The Hawks do not have a string of four games in five nights this season, something the league has tried to limit. They did so twice last season.
- According to the NBA, the Hawks will travel 44,394 miles in conference.
- The Hawks play six of their first 10 games at home. They play five of their final 10 games at home.
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