The schedule maker has been no friend of the Atlanta Hawks so far this season. The Hawks have played 19 games through November 28, the most games played by any team in the NBA.
Western Conference teams Golden State and Sacramento have played 18 games each this season. No Eastern Conference team has played more than 17. On the flip side, the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards have only played 14 games.
The Hawks play Monday night at home against Oklahoma City. With that 20th game, Atlanta will have played nearly 1/4 of their entire 2015-16 schedule in the first month. That is a ridiculous amount of games to play this early in the season.
Atlanta is currently 11-7, while this record is disappointing, it is understandable when you consider the schedule. Hawks players have noticeably lacked “jump” in some games due to the workload. The positive is that they will have more rest than many other teams when it is really needed later in the season.
Currently the Hawks are only 1 game behind Eastern Conference second place, so the punishing schedule hasn’t buried their season. Hopefully the nagging ankle sprains and “tweak” type injuries will heal up as Atlanta’s schedule spaces out.
Another benefit as the schedule this out will be more practice time. This will allow Coach Budenholzer to continue the assimilation process with his new players and the refinement of the offense.