The Atlanta Hawks upcoming homestand is critical for turnaround

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports /

What a wild ride this season has been for the Atlanta Hawks (21-25) already. They have shaken off their slump just as they did earlier in the year, with a winning streak. Once again, a disturbance in the chemistry has been addressed. And a campaign that can be broken into chapters is starting to set up for (another) storybook ending.

The Hawks start a five-game homestand on Wednesday with a tilt versus the Sacramento Kings who have lost three straight.

In fact, only one of their five opponents on this stand has played above .500 ball over the last four games with two losing two of their last three contests and another joining the Kings in having lost three of its last four.

They are 2-2 against the four opponents they have already seen this season.

The Atlanta Hawks are entering a critical stretch of games on this homestand

Atlanta took out Sacramento right before enduring their second-longest losing streak of the season. It was a game many felt they were fortunate to win as they were without Trae Young and John Collins but got a big night from Kevin Huerter who had 11 rebounds to go with 25 points off of the bench, 11 of which he scored in the fourth quarter.

The Hawks represent the halfway point of a five-game road trip for the Kings who just lost to the Kings and, like the Hawks, be on the second night of a back-to-back after facing the Boston Celtics, who come to Atlanta on Friday.

Boston was the third win on Atlanta’s seven-game winning streak, a game they took with their opponents down Jaylen Brown.

It was also one of the healthiest games for the Hawks this season.

The Celtics just blew out the Washington Wizards but took losses to the Portland Trail Blazers without Damian Lillard as well as the Charlotte Hornets whom the Hawks just beat in convincing fashion.

Los Angeles comes to town on Jan 30 and the Hawks are much better equipped to take them on this time around. Even with them getting Anthony Davis back in the lineup, the Hawks are playing much better defensively lately and especially in their last four contests since De’Andre Hunter’s return.

The Lakers have sandwiched a win over the Orlando Magic with losses to the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat.

It will be the first time the Hawks see the Toronto Raptors when the latter visits State Farm Arena on Jan 31. They will come having faced the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat and the end of a three-game road trip.

Then comes the Phoenix Suns.

Owners of the NBA’s best record, the Suns have won seven straight, 10 of their last 11, and 11 of their last 13 games.

They are the only one of the opponents that the Hawks will see on this stand with a record currently above .500 on the season and on the road. They’re also responsible for the second loss on the longest skid of the Hawks season in what was arguably their healthiest game of the year.

It’s a road trip that gets progressively tougher – Boston and Toronto occupy the eighth and ninth seeds, respectively, in the East. The Lakers are eighth in the West and Sacramento mirrors Atlanta’s current 12th-place ranking.

And it all ends with the top-ranked Suns.

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Beating Boston (who has just one fewer loss than the Hawks) and Toronto could also finally help the Hawks gain some ground in the conference; an elusive task even with Young’s stellar play.