What Will the Hawks’ Record Look Like by the New Year? A Look Forward at the Hawks’ Remaining Games in 2023

The Hawks haven't had the best of times in 2023. But let's look at their remaining schedule going into the New Year and see where we stand for 2024.
Trae Young will be crucial to this team turning this record around
Trae Young will be crucial to this team turning this record around / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

It’s no secret to us Hawks fans that we have felt underwhelmed by the team come this point in the season. The injury to Jalen Johnson has definitely hampered the team and resulted in the us picking up more losses than we would want.

However, the Hawks have had the second-hardest schedule in the NBA at the time of writing, per Power Rankings Guru. And they have the seventh-easiest remaining schedule in the league. Once the New Year passes and Jalen Johnson returns, the team can put a run of wins together. That will make the 2024 portion of this season look far more optimistic for any Hawks fan who has their heads down right now.

The Hawks currently sit at 9-13 after last night’s close loss to the reigning champion Denver Nuggets and that’s a game with positives to take, including Bogdan Bogdanovic’s 40-point game off the bench. But let’s now look forward to the Hawk’s remaining 10 games this year and look at where we’ll stand going into 2024.

1. December 15 at Toronto Raptors - W

After the disappointment of losing the first of this 2-game stint in Toronto, I have hope that the team will bounce back and look to come away from this trip up north with at least one win from these two games. With Trae coming off the back of another great performance in the first game, I'm hoping the team can pick themselves up and beat the Raptors at their place the second time round.


2. December 16 at Cleveland Cavaliers - L

Unfortunately I see us losing this one, with it being a back to back, no days rest, travel from Toronto to Cleveland, and the Cavs being a very good team. I know Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland haven’t been playing their best this season but I think it will take something special to win this one. If Trae can carry his form from the Raptors games and some of the supporting cast step up, it's not outside the realms of possibility but I think we just fall short.


3. December 18 vs Detroit Pistons - W

It’s the Pistons. They’ll probably be on a 23 game losing streak as they play Philly twice and Milwaukee before this game (Pistons Schedule). There should be no question we walk away from State Farm Arena with a win here, anything else is shameful.


4. December 20 at Houston Rockets - L

This one had me conflicted because I do believe we are good enough to beat the Rockets, but they might just be too good for us at the moment. Ime Udoka really has his team clicking and people like Alperen Şengün, Dillon Brooks, and VanVleet can cause problems for us if we’re even a little bit slow to start.


5. December 22 at Miami Heat - L

The Heat are always an interesting one as a Hawks fan after the 2022 playoffs and then the 2023 Play-In it feels like any game we play against them can go either way, but I fear this time, it will go the wrong way for us and we lose this one. The only thing that may change my mind on this game, and the Rockets game, is whether or not we have Jalen Johnson back because this stretch of games falls within his 3-4 week return window after the Wizards game. But until that is confirmed, I’m still saying we lose this one.


6. December 23 vs Memphis Grizzlies - W

Ja Morant will be back for this game, he returns on the 19th of December (nba.com) and so the Grizzlies will be better than what we’ve seen this year, but he will *hopefully* not be up to full game fitness yet and may still be out of rhythm so I think we can come away with a win here.


7. December 26 at Chicago Bulls - W

Who knows what state the Bulls will be in come this time of year, with their big names seemingly on the trading block and being looked at by other teams. I believe, though, that whatever state the Bulls find themselves in come Boxing Day, the Hawks have the capability to beat them.


8. December 29 vs Sacramento Kings - W

Now, I know I may seem crazy for this, but I believe that, with Jalen Johnson back come this time, tough games like this become infinitely more winnable and that's why I’m backing us to come through and pick up an important win. Coming off 2 wins as well, hopefully, will give the team momentum to finish the year on a high.


9. December 31 at Washington Wizards - W

We’ve beat them twice already this year, convincingly both times and I expect us to do so again, no question.


10. January 3 vs Oklahoma City Thunder - L

Unfortunately I think our run to end the year comes to a halt against the Thunder, as they are just a very good team with so many offensive weapons that I fear we just do not have the defensive capability to stop all of them. Players like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Chet Holmgren, and Jalen Williams all pose an insane offensive threat and I think they just have too much firepower for us


That leads us into the New Year slightly below .500 but with an easier schedule coming up in 2024 than we had in 2023, so hopefully the team can take positives from that, gain momentum throughout the early stages of the year and, injuries on our side, Jalen Johnson can continue to grow into his role in this team and carry on taking that huge leap we've seen him make to start this season.

The New Year can allow us to see more defined roles appear for guys like Kobe Bufkin and Seth Lundy, who have the potential to be pieces that can help the team going forward, especially if Lundy's College Park Skyhawks form is anything to go by.