The 2009-2010 Atlanta Hawks look to continue the steady improvement they have exhibited over the past four years. The 2004-2005 Hawks won a mere 13 games and had the worst record in the NBA. Each season since then the Hawks have improved their record and last season they recorded 47 wins and were seeded fourth in the Eastern Conference.
The Hawks did not make any major roster additions but they did add offensive firepower, veteran leadership, and depth to their bench. Jamal Crawford is a prolific scorer who is capable of putting up lots of points in a hurry. Joe Smith is a 14-year veteran who will provide leadership and be a positive influence in the locker room. Jason Collins will fortify Atlanta’s young front court. The addition of Jamal Crawford will lighten the workload of Mike Bibby and Joe Johnson. The development of the trio of 23-year olds starting on the front line (Al Horford, Josh Smith, and Marvin Williams) should be enhanced by the veteran presence of Jason Collins and Joe Smith. These additions should help the Atlanta Hawks continue to mature and improve. However, other Eastern Conference teams have improved as well, so whether or not these minor changes to the Atlanta Hawks roster will result in more wins remains to be seen.
Here are game-by-game predictions for the 2009-2010 Atlanta Hawks:
Game 1, Wednesday, October 28th versus Pacers– Hawks open the season with a home win over the Indiana Pacers (Record 1-0).
Game 2, Friday, October 30th versus Wizards– Hawks drop a close game to the healthy Washington Wizards (Record 1-1).
Game 3, Sunday, November 1st at Los Angeles Lakers– Hawks begin a four-game road trip with a loss to the Lakers at the Staples Center (Record 1-2).
Game 4, Tuesday, November 3rd at Portland– Hawks drop their third game in a row as they cannot contain Brandon Roy and the Portland Trail Blazers (Record 1-3).
Game 5, Wednesday, November 4th at Sacramento– Hawks defeat the Sacramento Kings and get their second win of the season (Record 2-3).
Game 6, Friday, November 6th at Charlotte– Hawks get a victory over the Charlotte Bobcats and close the road trip with a respectable 2-2 record (Record 3-3).
Game 7, Saturday, November 7th versus Nuggets– Hawks beat the Denver Nuggets for their third straight win (Record 4-3).
Game 8, Wednesday, November 11th at New York– Hawks keep their streak alive by outplaying the New York Knicks (Record 5-3).
Game 9, Friday, November 13th at Boston– Hawks lose to the Boston Celtics for the eighth straight time (Record 5-4).
Game 10, Saturday, November 14th versus Hornets– Hawks defeat the New Orleans Hornets to start a four-game home stand (Record 6-4).
Game 11, Monday, November 16th versus Trail Blazers– Hawks drop another game to the Portland Trail Blazers again (Record 6-5).
Game 12, Wednesday, November 18th versus Heat– Hawks beat the Miami Heat at Philips Arena (Record 7-5).
Game 13, Friday, November 20th versus Rockets– Hawks get a win over the Houston Rockets to close out a 3-1 home stand (Record 8-5).
Game 14, Saturday, November 21st at New Orleans– Hawks soar over the Hornets for the road win (Record 9-5).
Game 15, Thursday, November 26th versus Magic– Hawks lose a competitive game to the Orlando Magic (Record 9-6).
Game 16, Friday, November 27th at Philadelphia– Hawks get their tenth win of the season with a victory over the Philadelphia 76ers (Record 10-6).
Game 17, Sunday, November 29th at Detroit– Hawks pull out a win over the Detroit Pistons (Record 11-6).
Game 18, Wednesday, December 2nd versus Raptors– Hawks use a late run to secure a victory over the Toronto Raptors (Record 12-6).
Game 19, Friday, December 4th versus Knicks– Hawks get their fourth consecutive win by defeating the New York Knicks (Record 13-6).
Game 20, Saturday, December 5th at Dallas– Hawks fail to contain Dirk Nowitzki and fall to the Dallas Mavericks (Record 13-7).
Game 21, Wednesday, December 9th versus Bulls– Hawks pull out a close game against the Chicago Bulls (Record 14-7).
Game 22, Friday, December 11th at Toronto– Hawks lose to the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre (Record 14-8).
Game 23, Sunday, December 13th versus Nets– Hawks get their 15th win of the season by defeating the young New Jersey Nets (Record 15-8).
Game 24, Wednesday, December 16th versus Grizzlies– Hawks get a tough win against the Memphis Grizzlies (Record 16-8).
Game 25, Friday, December 18th versus Jazz– Hawks succumb to the execution and precision of the Utah Jazz (Record 16-9).
Game 26, Saturday, December 19th at Chicago– Hawks drop the first game of a four-game road trip to the Chicago Bulls (Record 16-10).
Game 27, Tuesday, December 22nd at Minnesota– Hawks beat the young developing Minnesota Timberwolves (Record 17-10).
Game 28, Wednesday, December 23rd at Denver– Hawks lose the second game of a back-to-back as they fall to the Denver Nuggets (Record 17-11).
Game 29, Saturday, December 26th at Indiana– Hawks drop a game to the resilient Indiana Pacers (Record 17-12).
Game 30, Tuesday, December 29th versus Cavaliers– Hawks lose a home game to the Cleveland Cavaliers (Record 17-13).
Game 31, Wednesday, December 30th at Cleveland– Hawks experience déjà vu as they fall to the Cavaliers again (Record 17-14).
Game 32, Friday, January 1st 2010 versus Knicks– Hawks start the New Year with a win over the New York Knicks and rebound from their four-game slide (Record 18-14).
Game 33, Monday, January 4th at Miami– Hawks lose to the Miami Heat dropping their record to 3-7 over the last ten games (Record 18-15).
Game 34, Wednesday, January 6th versus Nets– Hawks continue to struggle as they fall to the New Jersey Nets (Record 18-16).
Game 35, Friday, January 8th versus Celtics– Hawks get a much-needed win against the Boston Celtics (Record 19-16).
Game 36, Saturday, January 9th at Orlando– Hawks get their second win in a row against an elite opponent with a victory over the Magic (Record 20-16).
Game 37, Monday, January 11th at Boston– Hawks fail to get the hat trick as they fall to the Boston Celtics (Record 20-17).
Game 38, Wednesday, January 13th versus Wizards– Hawks defeat the Washington Wizards to avenge an October loss (Record 21-17).
Game 39, Friday, January 15th versus Suns– Hawks fall to the run-and-gun Phoenix Suns (Record 21-18).
Game 40, Monday, January 18th versus Thunder– Hawks get back on the right track with a victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder (Record 22-18).
Game 41, Wednesday, January 20th versus Kings– Hawks get their 15th home win by defeating the Sacramento Kings (Record 23-18).
Game 42, Friday, January 22nd versus Bobcats– Hawks beat Charlotte to close out a successful 4-1 home stand (Record 24-18).
Game 43, Monday, January 25th at Houston– Hawks drop a road game Rockets (Record 24-19).
Game 44, Wednesday, January 27th at San Antonio-Hawks go 0-2 on their Texas road trip as they lose to the San Antonio Spurs (Record 24-20).
Game 45, Friday, January 29th versus Celtics– Hawks drop a home game to the Boston Celtics (Record 24-21).
Game 46, Saturday, January 30th at Orlando– Hawks fall to the Magic dropping their fourth game in a row (Record 24-22).
Game 47, Tuesday, February 2nd at Oklahoma City– Hawks get back on the right track with a victory over the Thunder (Record 25-22).
Game 48, Wednesday, February 3rd versus Clippers– Hawks get a close win over the Los Angeles Clippers (Record 26-22).
Game 49, Friday, February 5th versus Bulls– Hawks defeat the Chicago Bulls and get their third straight win (Record 27-22).
Game 50, Saturday, February 6th at Washington– Hawks drop another game on the road as they fall to the Wizards (Record 27-23).
Game 51, Tuesday, February 9th at Memphis– Hawks rebound from the loss with a road win over the young Memphis Grizzlies to go five games above .500 (Record 28-23).
Game 52, Wednesday, February 10th versus Heat– Hawks go into the All-Star Break with a win over the Miami Heat (Record 29-23).
Game 53, Wednesday, February 17th at Los Angeles Clippers– Hawks lose to the Clippers to open the second half of the season (Record 29-24).
Game 54, Friday, February 19th at Phoenix– Hawks drop their third straight with a loss to the Suns (Record 29-25).
Game 55, Sunday, February 21st at Golden State– Hawks get a road win over the Warriors (Record 30-25).
Game 56, Monday, February 22nd at Utah– Hawks lose to the disciplined and tough-minded Jazz (Record 30-26).
Game 57, Wednesday, February 24th versus Timberwolves– Hawks get their 20th home victory by defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves (Record 31-26).
Game 58, Friday, February 26th versus Mavericks– Hawks lose a close game to the Dallas Mavericks (Record 31-27).
Game 59, Sunday, February 28th versus Bucks– Hawks get a win over the Milwaukee Bucks to close out a 2-1 home stand (Record 32-27).
Game 60, Monday, March 1st at Chicago– Hawks lose another road game as they fall to the Chicago Bulls (Record 32-28).
Game 61, Wednesday, March 3rd versus Sixers– Hawks drop a home game to the Philadelphia 76ers (Record 32-29).
Game 62, Friday, March 5th versus Warriors– Hawks get back on track with a win over the high-scoring Golden State Warriors (Record 33-29).
Game 63, Saturday, March 6th at Miami– Hawks defeat the Heat and sweep the back-to-back (Record 34-29).
Game 64, Monday, March 8th at New York– Hawks pick up their third consecutive victory as they defeat the Knicks at Madison Square Garden (Record 35-29).
Game 65, Saturday, March 13th versus Pistons– Hawks continue their hot streak with a win over the Detroit (Record 36-29).
Game 66, Tuesday, March 16th at New Jersey– Hawks stretch their winning streak to five by defeating the young New Jersey Nets (Record 37-29).
Game 67, Wednesday, March 17th at Toronto– Hawks lose to the Raptors on the road dropping their road record to 14-20 (Record 37-30).
Game 68, Friday, March 19th versus Bobcats– Hawks bounce back with a victory over the Charlotte Bobcats (Record 38-30).
Game 69, Sunday, March 21st versus Spurs– Hawks beat the San Antonio Spurs for the first time since 2005 (Record 39-30).
Game 70, Monday, March 22nd at Milwaukee– Hawks drop the second game of a back-to-back as they lose to the Bucks (Record 39-31).
Game 71, Wednesday, March 24th versus Magic– Hawks lose a home game to the Orlando Magic (Record 39-32).
Game 72, Friday, March 26th at Philadelphia– Hawks lose another road game as they fall to the Sixers (Record 39-33).
Game 73, Sunday, March 28th versus Pacers– Hawks defeat the Indiana Pacers and pick up their 40th win of the season (Record 40-33).
Game 74, Wednesday, March 31st versus Lakers– Hawks lose to the visiting Los Angeles Lakers (Record 40-34).
Game 75, Friday, April 2nd at Cleveland– Hawks succumb to an elite opponent for the second game in a row in a loss to the Cavaliers (Record 40-35).
Game 76, Saturday, April 3rd versus Pistons– Hawks get a win over Detroit and avoid a three-game losing (Record 41-35).
Game 77, Tuesday, April 6th at Charlotte– Hawks sweep their season series with the Bobcats 4-0 (Record 42-35).
Game 78, Wednesday, April 7th at Detroit– Hawks beat the Pistons for the sixth time in a row (Record 43-35).
Game 79, Friday, April 9th versus Raptors– Hawks get the win over the Raptors to split the season series at two games apiece (Record 44-35).
Game 80, Saturday, April 10th at Washington– Hawks drop an important game to the Wizards (Record 44-36).
Game 81, Monday, April 12th at Milwaukee– Hawks beat the Bucks to win their final road game of the season (Record 45-36).
Game 82, Wednesday, April 14th versus Cavaliers– Hawks drop their final home game of the season to the Cleveland Cavaliers (Final Record 45-37).
Prediction: The 2009-2010 Atlanta Hawks will make the playoffs for the third straight time (a feat they have not accomplished since they made their seventh consecutive appearance in the lockout shortened 1998-1999 season). Due to improved competition in the Eastern Conference the more mature and improved 2009-2010 Atlanta Hawks will win fewer games than they did last season.
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Information from ESPN.com and NBA.com was used for this article.