The Atlanta Hawks made State Farm Arena one of the hardest places in the NBA to get a road win for any opposition team after Nate McMillan took over the head coaching role. In the recent GM survey, the Hawks had nine teams ahead of them as having better home-court advantages.
Without only a few exceptions, every team that is named ahead of the Hawks has been successful. The Utah Jazz had most of the vote with 47 percent of all general managers saying that their homecourt advantage was the greatest.
The Houston Rockets were the second-best team and until last season with the trade of James Harden were one of the best franchises in the league. The other teams who received multiple votes were the Boston Celtics, Memphis Grizzlies, New Orleans Pelicans, and the Phoenix Suns.
If the Atlanta Hawks can continue last season’s form they will be at the top of this list.
Prior to the All-Star break when Nate McMillan took over the Hawks had a mediocre record at home. They were 8-9 in their 17 games under Lloyd Pierce compared to the 17-2 record McMillan was able to help guide the franchise to.
The Hawks need to make State Farm Arena a fortress. If they can do this then they have a really good shot at getting the crucial homecourt advantage for the playoffs. They did not have this for the entirety of their playoff run last season and eventually, it cost them, especially as their superstar Trae Young injured himself on the referee’s foot.
With Hawks fans being allowed back into the arena this season, the need to make it a difficult place to come and get a road win. If the fans can help their team this way then this is just another step in the road to an NBA title. Could this be the Hawks year?