Atlanta Hawks

50th Season First Game Played October 16, 1968
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1968/69: Upon arriving in Atlanta, the Hawks had virtually the same team except for Lenny Wilkens, who would be traded to the Seattle Supersonics for Walt Hazzard. Hazzard would help lead the Hawks to a solid second place season with a record of 48-34. In the playoff, the Hawks would need six games to get past the San Diego Rockets to set up a match with Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Finals. However, the Hawks would be dominated by the Lakers losing in five games.

1969/70: Despite losing Zelmo Beatty to the ABA, the Hawks finished in first place with a record of 48-34, as the late-season acquisition of Walt Bellamy from the Detroit Pistons helped the Hawks finish the season on a strong note. In the playoffs, the Hawks would have no problem with Chicago Bulls needing just five games to reach the Western Finals. However, for the second year in a row, the Hawks would be dominated by the Los Angeles Lakers losing in four straight games.

1970/71: With realignment, the Hawks are moved into the Central Division in the Eastern Conference as the NBA begins divisional play. The Hawks would lose Joe Caldwell to the ABA as they drafted the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer “Pistol” Pete Maravich. Pistol Pete would finish second on the team in scoring with 23.2 ppg. However, the Hawks were sometimes confused his fancy passing and showboat dribbling, as they finished in second place with a disappointing 36-46 record. Despite their poor record, the Hawks would make the playoffs, but it would be a quick exit as the New York Knicks beat them in five games.

1971/72: In a carbon copy of the previous season, the Hawks finish in second place with a 36-46 record before being eliminated in the first round in five games this time by the Boston Celtics.

1972/73: After playing at Georgia Tech’s Alexander Coliseum for five seasons the Hawks get a nest of their own in a brand new 16,500-seat arena known as The Omni, as the Hawks guided by the 1-2 scoring punch of Lou Hudson and Pete Maravich finished in second place with a 46-36 record under new Coach Cotton Fitzsimmons. However, in the playoffs, the Hawks would make a quick exit again, falling to the Boston Celtics in six games.

1973/74: Despite “Pistol” Pete Maravich finishing second in the league in scoring with 27.7 ppg, the Hawks struggled all season and missed the playoffs for the first time in 12 years while finishing in second place with a disappointing record of 35-47. Following the season, the Hawks would trade their tope shooter Maravich to the expansion New Orleans Jazz for Dean Meminger, Bob Kauffman, and four draft picks.

1974/75: Already playing without Pete Maravich after trading him to the New Orleans Jazz, the Hawks lose Lou Hudson for the season to an elbow injury and struggle all season finishing in fourth place with a terrible record of 31-51.

1975/76: Hoping to improve themselves in the draft, the Hawks select David Thompson and Marvin Webster with number one and three picks in the draft. However, both would choose to play with the ABA’s Denver Nuggets, as the Hawks hit rock bottom, finishing in last place with a miserable 29-53 record.

1976/77: The emergence of John Drew, who led the team with 21.6 ppg, had the Hawks hovering around .500 going into February. However, the Hawks would win just six of their final 34 games as they finished in last place for the second straight season with a record of 31-51, as Hubbie Brown took over the coaching reigns from Cotton Fitzsimmons in the final eight games of the season.

1977/78: In Hubbie Brown’s first full year as Coach the Hawks were significantly improved as draft picks Wayne “Tree” Rollins and Eddie Johnson had an immediate impact as the Hawks made the playoffs for the first time in five years with a record of 41-41. Along the way, the future of the Hawks became more secure as media mogul Ted Turner purchased the team insuring, they would stay in Atlanta. However, their stay in the playoffs would be very short as they were shot down by the Washington Bullets in two straight games.

1978/79: The Hawks continued to improve, finishing just two games out of first place with a solid 46-36 record, which was good enough for third place and the playoffs. In the playoffs, the Hawks would win the first series in nine years as they beat the Houston Rockets in two straight games. However, in the second round, their season would be ended for the second straight season by the Washington Bullets. However, it would take the Hawks would take the Bullets to a seventh game.

1979/80: The Hawks continued to come on their own as they won the Central Division with a solid 50-32 record with a balanced attack led by John Drew, Dan Roundfield, Tree Rollins, and Eddie Johnson. However, in the playoffs, the Hawks would not be able to carry over their regular season play as the Philadelphia 76ers beat them in five games after a first-round bye.

1980/81: Despite playing with the same team, the Hawks plummet in the standings finishing in fourth place with a disappointing record of 31-51. Along the way Coach, Hubbie Brown would be dismissed, as nothing seemed to go right for the Hawks.

1981/82: Under new Coach Kevin Loughery the Hawks would rebound playing with an improved defensive system that allowed eight fewer points per game as they finished in second place with a 42-40 record. However, in the playoffs, the Hawks would be knocked off quickly by the Philadelphia 76ers in two straight games.

1982/83: Before the start of the season, the Hawks made a blockbuster trade sending John Drew and Freeman Williams to the Utah Jazz for rookie Dominique Wilkins, a star at the University of Georgia. Wilkens would have an impressive rookie season averaging 17.5 ppg as the Hawks finished in second place with a 43-39 record. Once again, they would make a quick playoff exit losing to the Boston Celtics in a three-game series.

1983/84: Under new Coach Mike Fratello the Hawks took a step backward, posting a record of 40-42. With the NBA expanding the postseason to eight games, the Hawks made the playoffs as the seventh seed. In the playoffs, the Hawks would give the Milwaukee Bucks all they could handle before falling in a hard-fought five-game series.

1984/85: Before the season, the Hawks embarked on a significant youth movement trading Dan Roundfield to the Detroit Pistons for Cliff Levingston, Antoine Carr, and a couple of draft picks. In the draft, the Hawks would pick up seven-footer Kevin Willis. However, with so many inexperienced players, the Hawks would struggle finishing in fifth place with a 34-48 record despite a breakout season from Dominique Wilkins, who finished sixth in the league in scoring with 27.4 ppg.

1985/86: With rookies, Jon Koncak and Spud Webb, the Hawks became the youngest team in the NBA. After a slow start, the Hawks quickly transformed into one of the more exciting teams in the NBA, led by “the Human Highlight Reel” Dominique Wilkins, who led the NBA in scoring with 30.3 ppg. However, the most exciting highlight of the season came when 5’7″ Spud Webb won the Slam Dunk contest during All-Star Weekend. The Hawks would be one of the strongest teams in the second half, winning 35 of their final 52 games to post a 50-32 record. In the playoffs, the Hawks would continue to fly, beating the Detroit Pistons in four games. However, in the second round, they would be overmatched by the Boston Celtics losing in five games.

1986/87: The Hawks would come flying out of the get as they found themselves in the NBA’s elite by winning 10 of their first 12 games. The Hawks would fly high all season, cutting a music video in which they dubbed themselves “Atlanta’s Air Force,” as they won the Central Division with franchise-best 57-25 record, as Dominique Wilkins finished second in scoring with 29 ppg. In the playoffs, the Hawks would have no problem with Indiana Pacers winning in four games. However, in the second round, Atlanta’s Air Force would be brought down by the Detroit Pistons in five games.

1987/88: The Hawks continued to fly high as Dominique Wilkens finished second in scoring again with 30.7 ppg, as the Hawks finished in second place with a solid 50-32 record. In the playoffs, the Hawks would need five games to get past the Milwaukee Bucks in a hard-fought series. In the second round, the Hawks again would find themselves in a battle as they toe to toe with Boston Celtics for seven games. the Celtics would go on to the Eastern Finals with a 118-116 win in Game 7 at the Boston Garden.

1988/89: After falling in the second round two straight seasons, the Hawks acquired Reggie Theus and Moses Malone in the off-season. However, they would lose Kevin Willis for the entire season with a foot injury suffered during the preseason. Despite the loss of Willis, the Hawks again reached to 50-win plateau finishing in third place with a mark of 52-30. However, in the playoffs, they would be stunned by the Milwaukee Bucks in a hard-fought five-game series.

1989/90: Injuries would hamper the Hawks again as their entire backcourt missed time due to injury. After playing .500 basketball into January, the Hawks went through a stretch where they lost 17 of 22 games endangering their playoff chances. The Hawks would close out the season on a strong note winning 11 of their last 15 games to finish with a 41-41 record. However, they would end up one game short of the postseason.

1990/91: Under new Coach Bob Weiss the Hawks played erratic basketball all season looking like an also-ran during a nine-game November losing streak and a 50-win contender during an 11 win December. The Hawks would go on to finish in fourth place with a 43-39 record. However, in the playoffs, they would be bounced in the first round by the Detroit Pistons in a hard-fought five-game series.

1991/92: The Hawks had a complete changing of the guard trading away Doc Rivers, and Spud Webb while turning over their backcourt to second-year player Rumeal Robinson and rookie Stacy Augmon. Despite the inexperience at the guard position, the Hawks had a respectable 22-20 record in late January. However, their season came to a crashing halt on January 28th when Dominique Wilkins ruptured his Achilles tendon, ending his season. Without Wilkins, the Hawks won just 16 of their final 40 games finishing in fifth place with a 38-44 record.

1992/93: Dominique Wilkins would return from his Achilles injury. However, he would never quite be the same player, despite surpassing Bob Pettit as the Hawks all-time leading scorer. The Hawks would go on to make the playoffs as the seventh seed fueled by a great run in March in which they won 12 of 15 games, on the way to a 43-39 record. However, in the playoffs, the Hawks would be swept in three straight games by the Chicago Bulls.

1993/94: To help get the stagnated Hawks jump-started the team hires Lenny Wilkens as their new coach. Wilkens, who was a star guard for the St. Louis Hawks in the ’60s, was quickly moving up the all-time coaching wins list as he had successful runs with the Seattle Supersonics and Cleveland Cavaliers. Wilkens employed a defensive system as guards Stacy Augmon and Mookie Blaylock; both were named to the NBA All-Defensive team, as the Hawks jumped out in front of the Central Division. Despite being in first place in February, the Hawks would trade all-time leading scorer Dominique Wilkins to the Los Angeles Clippers for Danny Manning. The Hawks would go on to finish with an Eastern Conference-best record of 57-25. However, the Wilkins trade would begin to backfire as they struggled to get past the Miami Heat in five games before being upset by the Indiana Pacers in six games in the playoffs.

1994/95: The Dominique Wilkins trade continues to backfire as Danny Manning departed as a Free Agent. To help restructure the team, the Hawks trade Kevin Willis to the Miami Heat for Steve Smith, Grant Long, and a future second-round draft selection. With a new look, the Hawks would struggle at times posting a mediocre 42-40 record while collecting the seventh seed. Along the way Coach, Lenny Wilkens made history by becoming the NBA’s all-time winningest coach surpassing Red Auerbach on January 6th with win number 939. However, in the playoffs, the Hawks would not have any wins as they are swept in three straight games by the Indiana Pacers.

1995/96: Without a single player averaging 20 points, ten rebounds, or ten assists per game, the Hawks played a solid team game posting a record of 46-36 along the way, as Coach Lenny Wilkens became the first NBA Coach to reach 1,000 wins. In the playoffs, the Hawks would get a measure of revenge by stunning the banged-up Indiana Pacers in a hard-fought five-game series. However, in the second round, the Hawks would provide little resistance to the Orlando Magic as they were knocked off in five games.

1996/97: The Hawks improved their team and strengthened their defense by picking up free agent center Dikembe Mutombo, who would capture the Defensive Player of the Year honors by finishing second in the NBA in rebounding and blocked shots. Mutombo was not the only Hawk to excel on defense as guard Mookie Blaylock led the NBA in steals as the Hawks finished in second place with a 56-26 record. In the playoffs, the Hawks would be put to the test as they needed five games to get past the Detroit Pistons. However, in the second round, the Hawks would provide little challenge to the Chicago Bulls as they fell in five games to the eventual Champions.

1997/98: The Omni is demolished to make room for a new arena, which the Hawks would begin, play in 1999. However, while workers built the new arena, the Hawks would split their games between the Georgia Dome and their original home in Atlanta, the Alexander Coliseum on the campus of Georgia Tech, which had been recently renamed McDonald’s Center. Despite not having a true home court, the Hawks would post a solid 50-32 record as Dikembe Mutombo captured Defensive Player of the Year Honors again. Along the way, the Hawks would make history as they set a single-game regular-season attendance record when 62,046 saw the Hawks take on Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. In the playoffs, the Hawks would be knocked off in the first round by the Charlotte Hornets in four games.

1998/99: During a season cut to 50 games by a four-month lockout, the Hawks continued to split their games between the intimate McDonald’s Center and the cavernous Georgia Dome posting a 31-19 record good enough for second place. In the playoffs, the Hawks would fight off the Detroit Pistons in a hard-fought five-game series. However, in the second round, the Hawks would be stunned by the eighth-seeded New York Knicks, who swept them in four straight games.

1999/00: The Hawks finally got a nest of their own again as the brand new state of the art Phillips Arena opened over the site of the old Omni. However, in their new arena, the Hawks struggled all season plummeting into seventh place with a disappointing record of 28-54. Following the season, Lenny Wilkens would opt out of his contract taking over the coaching reigns of the Toronto Raptors.

2000/01: Under new Coach Lon Kruger, the Hawks continued to struggle despite a solid performance from Jason Terry, who led the team in scoring with 19.7 ppg. During horrid 25-57 season in which the Hawks finished in seventh place. Dikembe Mutombo would be traded to the Philadelphia 76ers for Theo Ratliff, Toni Kukoc, and Nazr Mohammed. Mutombo would help guide the 76ers to the finals winning the Defensive Player of the year again.

2001/02: The Hawks showed slight improvement avoiding 50 losses by finishing with a 33-49 record as Shareef Abdur Rahim had a breakout season making the all-star team for the first time. However, a poor post-all-star record of 16-33 ended all playoff hopes. Following the season, the Hawks made a blockbuster deal acquiring Glenn Robinson from the Milwaukee Bucks.

2002/03: The deal to acquire Glenn Robinson never worked out as the Hawks got off to a slow start. Hoping to get things jump-started, Lon Kruger was fired just after Christmas with the Hawks floundering at 11-16. Under replacement Terry Stotts the Hawks would not do any better as they missed the playoffs for the fourth straight season with a record of 35-47. Following the season, the Hawks would begin the process of rebuilding again as Robinson is traded away after just one season. At the same time, the team was sold along with the NHL’s Thrashers to a local ownership group, as Time Warner began divulging themselves of their struggling sports franchises.

2003/04: The Hawks continued to struggle as they got off to a poor start, winning just three of their first ten games. With new ownership, the Hawks began to look toward the future by cleaning house, as almost the entire roster was turned over to start from scratch. One deal saw the Hawks ship leading scorer Sharif Abdur-Rahim to the Portland Trailblazers for Rasheed Wallace, who they would deal on to the Detroit Pistons after just one game in Atlanta. The Hawks would go on to finish the season with a record of 28-54, finishing in seventh place in the Central Division. Following the season, the Hawks would continue to re-tool acquired Al Harrington in a deal with the Indiana Pacers while landing Antoine Walker in a trade with the Dallas Mavericks.

2004/05: Even with the acquisition of Antoine Walker, the Hawks were not expected to be any good heading into the season, as they posted an awful 2-12 record in November, which was worse than the expansion Charlotte Bobcats. Walker would lead the team in scoring with 20.4 ppg, but at 9-34, at the end of January, he would be put on the selling block for the trading deadline. Walker would eventually be sent to the Boston Celtics for Gary Payton, who was released and resigned with the Celtics. Meanwhile, the Hawks would go from bad to horrendous as they won just four of their last 35 games on the way to finishing dead last with a franchise-worst record of 13-69.

2005/06: Coming off such an awful season, there was no way for the Atlanta Hawks to go but up. However, things got off to a rough start when Center Jason Collier suffered a heart attack during the preseason and died suddenly died at the age of 28 on October 15th. The Hawks would stumble out of the gates again, losing their first nine games on the way to a horrible 2-16 start. The Hawks would start to play better in December as they won four of six games during a mid-month stretch that included a win over the defending champion San Antonio Spurs. However, the Hawks would still be among the worst teams in the NBA, although they would double their win total while finishing in fourth place at 26-56.

2006/07: With a power struggle among the Hawks ownership continuing, the team remained in flux on the court. However, they would play strong early winning four of their first five games. However, the lack of talent on the court continued to weigh down the Hawks as they entered the New Year with a 9-20 record. In January, the Hawks would play slightly better as they posted a winning record, including a solid win over the Detroit Pistons. However, the rest of the way, there was not much for Hawks fans to have pride over, as they landed in last place with a record of 30-52 while taking over the dubious distinction of the NBA’s longest playoff drought at eight years and counting.

2007/08: After missing the playoffs eight straight years, the Hawks drafted Forward Al Horford, who had led the Florida Gators to two consecutive National Championships with the third overall pick, while using the 11th overall pick acquired from the Indiana Pacers on Guard Acie Law IV from Texas A&M. The Hawks also changed their colors, hoping to change their luck, switching from a primarily red color scheme to blue. While Law struggled to crack the starting line up at times, Horford excelled ranking first among rookies in double-doubles with 25, while leading all rookies with 9.7 rebounds per game, as he finished second to the Seattle Supersonics Kevin Durant in Rookie of the Year voting. There were good signs early in the season for the Hawks, as they defeated the Dallas Mavericks 101-94 in the season opener; it was the first time since 1998 they started the season with a win. However, they still finished November with a losing record finishing the first month 6-9. However, heading into the New Year, they had a winning record, highlighted by a five-game winning streak in December. One of those wins on December 19th would not appear on paper for a few months as the final 51.9 seconds of an overtime win over the Miami Heat needed to be replayed because Heat Center Shaquille O’Neal was erroneously assessed a sixth foul. Ironically by the time the game was completed on March 8th, Shaq had been traded to the Phoenix Suns, and the Hawks would win any way 114-111 instead of 117-111. However, January would see the Hawks take a step backward, as they lost 11 of 15 games. The struggles continued February as they dropped six straight around the All-Star Break. Hoping to get turned back in the right direction, the Hawks landed one of the league’s top playmakers Mike Bibby from the Sacramento Kings at the trade deadline, sending Anthony Johnson, Tyron Lue, Shelden Williams, Lorenzen Wright, and a 2008 second-round draft pick to Sacramento in return. However, the Hawks continued to struggle into March as they lost six of seven, and held a 26-38 record going into the final four weeks of the season. However, the Hawks managed to stay in playoff contention 9 of their next 11 games. That stretch would end up being the difference-maker as the Hawks ended their playoff drought despite losing their last three games and posting a 37-45 record. Facing the Boston Celtics, who all season held the best record in the NBA, nobody gave the Hawks a chance to even win a game in the playoffs, as they were blown out in the first two games in Boston 104-81 and 96-77. However, as the series shifted to Atlanta, a pumped-up crowd at the first NBA Playoff Game at Phillips Arena helped breathe some life into the Hawks as they posted a 102-93 win, with Al Horford having a monster game in the middle with 14 rebounds. The Hawks would continue to shine in Game 4 tying the series 97-92, as they outscored the Celtics 32-17 in the fourth quarter, with Joe Johnson scoring 20 of his game-high 35 points. After another blowout in Boston, the Hawks pushed the Celtics to a seventh game, holding firm at their home court with a 103-100 win as Joe Johnson nailed a crucial three-pointer with 1:07 left. Sadly it would be the last game in Atlanta, as the Celtics again shut down the Hawks in Boston, winning the decisive seventh game with a 99-65 win. The Celtics would go on to win the NBA Championship, as the Hawks gave their fans reason to cheer and cause to hope for the future.

2008/09: Coming off their surprise trip to the playoffs, where they took the eventual champion Boston Celtics to a seventh game, the Hawks endured a tumultuous off-season as General Manager resigned after losing a power struggle with Coach Mike Woodson. The Hawks also saw the departure of Josh Childress, who signed an unprecedented three year $20 million net income contract with the Euro league club Olympiacos Piraeus in Greece. However, despite the problems, the Hawks got off to a solid start, winning their first six games. Despite losing their next four games, the Hawks managed a strong first month, with a record of 10-6. The Hawks would continue to play solid basketball in December, as they entered the New Year with a 21-10 record. However, when 2009 began, the Hawks hit a road bump losing six of their first eight games, as they had a losing record in January. After a mediocre February, the Hawks again posted a ten-win month in March, as they assured themselves of their first winning season in a decade. The Hawks would go on to finish in second place with a solid 47-35 record, which earned them the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Facing the division rival Miami Heat in the first round, the Hawks got off to a good start with a 90-64 win in Game 1. However, the Heat would rebound to win the next two games. The Hawks would rebound with an 81-71 win in Game 4, earning their first road win in the postseason in 12 years, as Zaza Pachulia dominated the boards with 18 rebounds. The Hawks and Heat would split the next two games as the series went to the seventh game in Atlanta. Game 7 would be the Joe Johnson show, as the Hawks Guard shook off a disappointing series and nailed six three-point shots while scoring 27 points as the Hawks won 91-78 to earn their first trip to the second round since 1997. However, it would be just a cameo appearance as the Cleveland Cavaliers slam the Hawks in four straight games.

2009/10: The Hawks looked to build off their playoff success by bringing in a more experienced Shooting Guard to add a spark off the bench in Jamal Crawford, who was acquired in a trade with the Golden State Warriors for Acie Law IV and Speedy Claxton. At the same time, they locked up Mike Bibby, Marvin Williams, and Zaza Pachulia to contract extensions. The deal for Crawford paid immediate dividends as he won the NBA’s 6th Man Award by averaging 18 ppg off the bench. Earlier in the season, the Hawks flew to the top of the Eastern Conference, as they won 11 of their first 13 games. However, as the New Year arrived, the Hawks slumped, losing four games in a row. It would only be a small bump in the road as the Hawks went on getting the third seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs while topping 50 wins for the first time in 12 years as they posted a record of 53-29. In the playoffs, the Hawks faced the Milwaukee Bucks and quickly took advantage of the home court, winning the first two games at home by ten points. However, as the series shifted to Milwaukee, the Bucks rebounded with a 107-89 win in Game 3. They would go on to even the series with a 111-104 win in Game 4. Needing a win at home to regain control of the series, the Hawks came out flat in Game 5 as the Bucks used a stunning 30 point fourth quarter to win the game 91-87. Facing elimination on the road, the Hawks defense put forth a significant effort in Game 6, holding the Bucks to 69 points as they even the series with an 83-69 win. Back in Atlanta for the decisive seventh game, the Hawks defense continued to shine as they advanced to the second round for the second straight year with a 95-74 win. Facing the division rival Orlando Magic, the Hawks found themselves on the wrong end of a 114-71 loss in Game 1. Things would not get much better again in Game 2 as they lost by 14 points 112-98. As the series shifted to Atlanta, the Hawks wished they could be more competitive. However, the Magic dominated again, winning 105-75 in Game 3. The Magic would go on to complete the sweep with another double-digit 98-84 win in Game 4. Following the embarrassing performance against the Magic, Coach Mike Woodson would be fired and replaced by assistant Larry Drew.

2010/11: Under new Coach Larry Drew, the Hawks would get off to a fast start, winning their first six games. However, they would quickly take a step backward, losing their next four games, as they closed November with a record of 11-7. The Hawks would keep pace in December as they entered the New Year with a record of 21-14. After hitting the All-Star Break with a record of 34-21, as Al Horford and Joe Johnson represented the Eastern Conference, the Hawks looked for ways to get stronger. At the trade deadline, they would acquire Kirk Hinrich and Hilton Armstrong from the Washington Wizards for Mike Bibby, Maurice Evans, Jordan Crawford, and a first-round draft pick. However, the deal would not work out as planned, as the Hawks struggled over the last six weeks of the season as they posed a 10-17 record after the break. Despite the struggles and a six-game losing streak to finish the season, the Hawks still got in the playoffs with a record of 44-38. In the first round, the Hawks would face the Orlando Magic. In the opener, the Hawks could not stop Dwight Howard, who had a game-high 46 points. However, the Hawks would get the win 103-93 as Joe Johnson, and Jamal Crawford combined for 48. After the Magic evened the series with an 88-82 win in Game 2, the series shifted to Atlanta, where the Hawks again 88-84 on Jamal Crawford’s three-point shot with 5.7 seconds left. The Hawks continued to find ways to win in Game 4, as Joe Johnson was clutch from the free-throw line making all four shots as the Hawks won 88-85. The Magic would score a 101-76 win in Game 5, but the Hawk would take the series in six games as they captured an 84-81 win in the finale in Atlanta. The hero of Game 6 would be Joe Johnson, who scored 23 points and had a key late rebound. In the second round, the Hawks would take on the Chicago Bulls, who had the best record in the NBA. The Hawks would once again draw first blood, winning the opener in Chicago 103-95, as Joe Johnson scored a game-high 34 points. Behind big games from Derrick Rose, the Bulls would bounce back to win the next two games, putting the Hawks in a must-win Game 4 at home. Rose would have another solid game, but the Hawks would even the series with a 100-88 win, as Josh Smith scored 23 points, with 16 rebounds and eight assists. However, the Hawks could not stop Derrick Rose, who continued to lead the way in a 95-83 win in Game 5. The Bulls would go on to win the series in six games, closing out the Hawks at Phillips Arena 93-73 in Game 6.

2011/12: After reaching the second round of the playoffs, the Hawks had a rather uneventful off-season, as the league endured a lockout that would delay the start of the season for two months. The most significant loss for the Hawks was Jamal Crawford, who signed with the Portland Trailblazers before the season. The Hawks would get off to a flying start as they crushed the New Jersey Nets 106-70 in their season opener, winning their first three games. The Hawks continued to play well through January, as they won 13 of 18 games and were near the top of the Eastern Conference with a record of 16-6. However, in February, the Hawks would struggle after losing Al Horford for the rest of the regular season with a knee injury, winning just four games. The Hawks would get back on track in March as they won seven of nine at Phillips Arena; they would carry that momentum into April, as they posted a 9-3 record down the stretch and finished the season with a solid record of 40-26. The Hawks were led in scoring by Joe Johnson and Josh Smith, who each averaged 18.8 ppg. Smith also led the team with 9.6 rebounds per game, while Jeff Teague, who had 12.6 ppg, led the team in assists with 4.9 assists per game. One player who came on at the end of the season was Ivan Johnson, who was named Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month in April.

2012 Playoffs: Despite officially being the fifth seed, the Hawks had homecourt advantage in the first round as they had a better record than the Atlantic Division Champion Boston Celtics. The Hawks got off to a fast start in Game 1, scoring 31 points in the first quarter as they won the opener 83-74, with Josh Smith scoring 22 points with 18 boards. In Game 2, the Hawks had no answer for Paul Pierce, who had 36 points, with 14 rebounds and beat the Hawks 87-80 to even the series. As the series went to Boston, the Hawks went south, losing Game 3 in overtime 90-84, as the Hawks scored just four points in the extra session. The Celtics would blowout the Hawks in Game 4, taking a 3-1 series lead. Back in Atlanta, the Hawks got a key steal from Josh Smith in the final seconds to hold on for an 87-86 win. However, their season would end in Game 6 as they lost 83-80, as Jeff Teague fumbled an inbounds pass late in the game, with a chance to tie the game.

2012/13: It was a year of transition for the Hawks, as Danny Ferry took over as the team’s new General Manager. There were changes on the court as well, as leading scorer Joe Johnson was dealt with the Brooklyn Nets for Jordan Farmar, Anthony Morrow, DeShawn Stevenson, Jordan Williams, and Johan Petro, as well as a 2013 first-round pick. The Hawks also acquired Devin Harris from the Utah Jazz for Marvin Williams. The Hawks also were spenders of the Free Agent market picking up Lou Williams from the Philadelphia 76ers and Kyle Korver from the Chicago Bulls. The Hawks would start slowly, losing their season opener to the Houston Rockets 109-102 at Phillips Arena. However, after losing four of their first seven, the Hawks began to straight up and fly right, winning six in a row. The Hawks continued to play well in December, posting a 10-5 record as they went into the New Year with a record of 19-10. The Hawks would begin to have their troubles in January, as they won just two of nine games away from Atlanta while losing Lou Williams to a season-ending knee injury on January 21st. Looking to get back on track, the Hawks were busy at the trade deadline, trading Anthony Morrow to the Dallas Mavericks for Dahntay Jones. The Hawks would win their first four games after the trade but continued to struggle in March and April as they ended the season with a 44-38 record, making the playoffs as the sixth seed. The Hawks leading scorer and rebounders were Josh Smith, who had 17.5 ppg with 8.4 rpg and Al Horford with 17.4 ppg and 10.2 rpg.

2013 Playoffs: In the playoffs, the Hawks were a decided underdog as they faced the Indiana Pacers. After losing the first two games in Indiana, the Pacers came out strong in Game 3 at Philip’s Arena, holding the Pacers to just 69 points as they scored a 90-69 win with Al Horford leading the way with 26 points and 16 boards. The Hawks would also win Game 4 at home as Josh Smith took over with 29 points in a 102-91 win. However, the Pacers would regain control of the series with a 106-83 win in Game 5. The Pacers would go on to win the series by beating the Hawks 81-73 in Game 6 in Atlanta. Following the game, the Hawks would continue to make changes, as Mike Budenholzer replaced coach Larry Drew.

2013/14: Change was in the air in Atlanta, as Josh Smith left to sign a contract with the Detroit Pistons, while the Hawks signed Paul Millsap to a two-year, $19 million deal to replace him. The Hawks also had a new coach in Mike Budenholzer after Larry Drew was allowed to walk and sign with the Milwaukee Bucks. Through the first two months, the new-look Hawks played well, as they entered the New Year with a record of 18-14. However, the Hawks season would suffer a severe blow when Al Horford was lost for the season on December 26th with a torn pectoral muscle. Al Horford was the Hawks top player, leading the team with 18.6 points per game while grabbing 8.4 rebounds. Without Horford, the Hawks would struggle the remainder of the season, including a nightmarish February when they won just two of 12 games. The Hawks would also lose ten games in March, but still slipped into the playoffs thanks to a strong April, as they won six of their last eight games to grab the eight seed with a record of 38-44. In Al Horford’s absence, Paul Millsap became the Hawks go-to player, averaging 17.9 points per game, with a team-best 8.5 rebounds, while Jeff Teague had 16.5 points per game while leading the Hawks with 6.7 assists per game.

2014 Playoffs: Facing the top-seeded Indiana Pacers, the Hawks got a great effort in Game 1, as Jeff Teague led the way with 28 points in a 101-93 win. After the Pacers rebounded with a 101-85 win in Game 2, the Hawks got another big game from Teague as the series shifted to Atlanta. Jeff Teague would score 22 points in Game 3, as Hawks won 98-85. Looking to take an unlikely 3-1 series lead, the Hawks led by ten points in Game 4 in the third quarter. However, the Pacers would rally to win the game 91-88 and again evened the series. The Hawks continued to frustrate and confuse the heavily favored Pacers, winning 107-97 in Game 5 in Indiana, using a 41 point second quarter to take control of the game and the series. The Hawks would have a chance to close the series out at Phillips Arena in Game 6. With Jeff Teague scoring 29 points and Paul Millsap grabbing 18 rebounds, the Hawks held a five-point lead with three minutes left. However, the Pacers finished strong and won the game 95-88. In Game 7, the Hawks bid for a historic upset came to an end as the Pacers controlled the game from the start and won 92-80, and would go on to reach the Eastern Conference Finals.

2014/15: Following a disappointing season, the Atlanta Hawks looked to make upgrades on defense and acquired Thabo Sefolosha from the Oklahoma City Thunder in a sign and trade. The rest of the off-season was full of controversy as controversial emails over the makeup of the Atlanta fan base shed a negative light on the team’s ownership, eventually leading Bruce Leverson to sell his share of the team to a group led by billionaire Tony Ressler for $850 million. The Hawks did not exactly get off to a flying start either, losing three of their first four games as they spent much of November hovering near .500. As November came to an end, the Hawks began to find their game-winning nine in a row. The Hawks would win 14 of 16 games in December and went into the New Year with a record of 23-8. One of the Hawks’ two losses would come against the Milwaukee Bucks on the night after Christmas; they would not suffer another loss until Ground Hog’s Day. In between, the Hawks won a franchise-record 19 straight games, including a perfect 17-0 record in January, the first team to win all 17 games in a single calendar month in NBA history. With the strength of their winning streak, the Hawks would soar to the top of the Eastern Conference, as four Hawks Jeff Teague, Paul Millsap, Kyle Korver, and Al Horford went to the All-Star Game. It would be impossible for any team to keep up the Hawks momentum, but they would remain on top of the East, and finish the season with a franchise-best record of 60-22. The Hawks blueprint to success was one of a team effort as nobody stood out as the most significant factor, with Paul Millsap being the team’s leading scorer with 16.7 points per game and a team-best 7.8 rebounds per game. The Hawks also got big seasons from Jeff Teague, who averaged 15.9 points per game and had a team-best 7.0 assists per game, while Al Horford added 15.2 ppg and 7.2 rpg, while Kyle Korver was among the league’s best three-point shooters and averaged 12.1 ppg. The Hawks’ success would lead to Mike Budenholzer being named NBA Coach of the Year.

2015 Playoffs: In the playoffs, the Hawks would face the Brooklyn Nets in the first round. Despite posting a 38-44 record, the Nets proved to be a pesky challenge for the Hawks, as the opener saw the Hawks sweat out a 99-92 win. Game 2 was even tighter as the Hawks won 96-91. As the series shifted to Brooklyn, the Nets finally broke through, winning 91-83. The Nets would continue to frustrate the Hawks in Game 4, winning 120-115 in overtime to even the series. Back in Atlanta, the reeling Hawks got back on track with a 107-97 win in Game 5, as they started the game strong, scoring 33 points in the first quarter as DeMarre Carroll led the way with 24 points. The Hawks would finally shake off the Nets with a 111-87 win in Game 5 as Paul Millsap led the way with 25 points and nine rebounds. Facing the division rival Washington Wizards in the second round, the Hawks struggled in Game 1, suffering a 104-98 loss in Game 1 at Phillips Arena. The Hawks would bounce back to even the series with a 106-90 win in Game 2, with DeMarre Carroll again leading the way with 22 points. As the series shifted to Washington, the Hawks continued their postseason slump, falling behind by 19 points before rallying in the fourth quarter to tie the game 101-101. However, Paul Pierce nailed a fadeaway jumper to give the Wizard a 103-101 win at the buzzer. Facing a must-win in Game 4, the Hawks got 26 points from Jeff Teague and held off a late charge from the Wizards to win the game 106-101. Back in Atlanta for Game 5, the series would turn on the final eight seconds of a game that ticked back and forth. It was Pierce again delivering a body blow to Atlanta with a corner three to give the Wizards an 81-80 lead with 8.3 seconds left. The Hawks would answer as Al Horford grabbed a rebound and was all alone to give Atlanta an 82-81 lead with 1.3 seconds on the clock. The Wizards only had time to heave a miracle from half court as the Hawks moved one game closer to the Eastern Conference Finals. The Hawks would go on to close out the series with a 94-91 win in Game 6, as DeMarre Carroll led the way with 25 points, while Jeff Teague and Paul Millsap each added 20. In the Conference Finals for the first time in 45 years, the Hawks would face the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs would steal the opener in Atlanta 97-89, starting the fourth quarter with an 11-0 run, thanks to J.R. Smith’s hot shooting from three. The Hawks would also suffer a 94-82 loss in Game 2, as they lost consecutive games at Phillips Arena for the first time all season. The game turned in the third quarter when the Cavs outscored the Hawks 30-17, with Kyle Korver leaving the game with an ankle injury after colliding with Matthew Dellavedova over a loose ball. Jeff Teague would lead a strong effort in Game 3 as the series shifted to Cleveland, but too much LeBron James would see the Cavs win in overtime 114-111. The Cavs would go on to complete the sweep with a 118-88 blowout win in Game 4.

2015/16: After their first trip to the Conference Finals in 45 years, the Atlanta Hawks looked to prove they were one of the NBA’s elite teams. Before the season began, the Hawks underwent a makeover, bringing back the classic “Pac-Man” logo, while changing their colors to red with a neon green accent officially identified as volt green. The Hawks season began with a disappointing home 106-94 loss to the Detroit Pistons, showing right away it was going to be a more challenging year for Atlanta. The Hawks would bounce back to win their next seven games, taking advantage of a light portion of their schedule. The Hawks would prove to be streaky in the first half, posting a six-game winning streak in December, as they went into the New Year holding a record of 21-13. As 2016 began, the Hawks playing much of January on the road had their difficulties, losing seven of ten away from Phillips Arena. The Hawks continued to have their struggles in February, as they lost three straight home games following the All-Star Break. Looking for a spark, the Hawks acquired former All-Star Kirk Hinrich at the trade deadline. The Hawks finally took flight in March, posting a 12-4 record as they found themselves in a three-way battle for first place in the Southeast Division. The Hawks would split their final six games, and ended in a three-way tie with the Miami Heat and Charlotte Hornets at 48-34. The Hawks would get the tie-break, as the Hawks settled for the fourth seed. Paul Millsap was the Hawks top player leading the team in both scoring and rebounds with 17.1 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. Kent Bazemore had a breakout season for the Hawks with 11.6 points per game.

2016 NBA Playoffs: Incredibly four teams in the Eastern Conference finished with an identical record of 48-34, the three in the Southeast Division, and the Boston Celtics, who were the Atlanta Hawks first-round opponent. The Hawks would get the homecourt edge in the series, opening the postseason at Phillips Arena. Game 1 would be a real nail biter as the Hawks held off the Boston Celtics to win 102-101. Jeff Teague was the game’s top player scoring 23 points with 12 assists as he sealed the win with two clutch free throws. The Hawks jumped out early in Game 2, outscoring the Celtics 24-7 as they won the game 89-72. The Celtics would get back in the series by winning Game 3 at TD Garden 111-103. The Hawks got a big game from Paul Millsap in Game 4, scoring 45 points with 13 rebounds. However, in overtime, the Hawks went ice cold as they were outscored 12-3 as the Celtics won 104-95 to even the series at two games apiece. Kent Bazemore sparked the Hawks in Game 5 as the series returned to Atlanta, hitting three straight shots from downtown in the second quarter. The Hawks would continue the momentum in the third quarter, outscoring the Celtics 42-23 as they regained control of the series with a 110-83 win. Game 6 in Boston would see the Hawks nearly match their third-quarter performance in Game 5, as they netted 39 points and closed out the series with a 104-92 win. The Hawks would move on to face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second round. The Hawks got a strong game from Dennis Schroder in Game 1, scoring a game-high 27 points, but it was not enough as the Cavs won the opener 104-93. Game 2 was over before it began as the Cavaliers raced out to a 74-38 halftime lead and crushed the Hawks 123-98. As the series shifted to Atlanta, the Cavs continued to have all the answers, rallying with a barrage of three-point shots to win the game 121-108 as they overcame an eight-point deficit at the start of the fourth quarter. Trying to avoid a second straight sweep at the hands of the Cavaliers, the Hawks gave their best effort in Game 4 but still trailed late in the fourth quarter. Down 100-99 Dennis Schroder won an essential tip-off in the final seconds, but Paul Millsap’s shot bounced off the rim as the Cavs advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals on the way to the first NBA Championship.

2016/17: Looking to take a step up, the Atlanta Hawks signed Dwight Howard to a three-year deal worth $70 million in the off-season. Early on, the returns were good for Atlanta, as the Hawks won nine of their first 11 games. However, the Hawks were unable to sustain the start as they struggled at the end of November, losing ten of their next 11 games. After ending December with a record of 17-16, the Hawks started January playing winning basketball as they went 11-4 and were in a battle with the Washington Wizards for first place in the Southeast Division. The Hawks and Wizards would battle all season for first place but found themselves falling behind after struggling in February and March. The Hawks would finish the season with a record of 43-39 finishing fifth overall in the Eastern Conference and six games behind the Wizards in the race for first place. The Hawks top scorers were Paul Millsap, who averaged 18.1 points per game to go along with 7.7 rebounds per game, and Dennis Schroder, who averaged 17.9. Meanwhile, Dwight Howard was Atlanta’s chairman of the boards, with 12.7 rebounds per game.

2017 Playoffs: As they did in the regular season, the Atlanta Hawks were matched up against the Washington Wizards in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. The Wizards started strong winning the first two games at home by scores of 114-107 and 109-101. As the series shifted to Atlanta, the Hawks got a significant effort from Paul Millsap in Game 3, scoring 29 points with 14 rebounds and five assists as the Hawks won 116-98. The Hawks would also take Game 4 by a score of 111-101 to even the series. Back in Washington for Game 5, the Wizards continued the trend of home teams winning in the series, with a 103-99 win. The Hawks, though, could not answer in Atlanta in Game 6, winning 115-99 to send the Hawks into the hibernation mode. After their first-round exit, the Hawks decided to begin anew and rebuild.

2017/18: With the departure of Dwight Howard and Paul Millsap, it was evident that the Atlanta Hawks would need to rebuild as they celebrated 50 years in Atlanta. The Hawks opened the season with a 117-111 road win over the Dallas Mavericks. That win was the only time all season the Hawks were over .500 as they lost their next eight games on the way to a 4-17 start at the end of November. There were few positives for the Hawks, as they spent the entire season wallowing in last place. The Hawks would end the season as the worst in the Eastern Conference at 24-58. Dennis Schroeder was Atlanta’s leading scorer with 19.4 points per game; he also averaged 6.2 assists per game. It would be Schroeder’s final season in Atlanta, as he was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the continuing rebuild in Atlanta. The Hawks would also part ways with coach Mike Budenholzer, as he left for the Milwaukee Bucks.

2018/19: The Atlanta Hawks had the third pick in the NBA Draft, but traded their pick Luka Doncic to the Dallas Mavericks for the fifth pick Trae Young and an additional pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. While Doncic won the Rookie of the Year in Dallas, Trae Young had a terrific first season for the Hawks. Young, was Atlanta’s second-leading scorer at 19.1 ppg, adding 8.1 assists per game. John Collins meanwhile led the team with 19.5 ppg. Vince Carter meanwhile provided veteran leadership on the bench, averaging 7.4 ppg. Overall the Hawks were not much better record-wise under new coach Lloyd Pierce, as they finished with a record 29-53. Early on, the Hawks stumbled, as they dropped ten straight games in November on the way to a 5-18 record after two months. In December, there were signs of improvement as Atlanta played well near Christmas, winning five of six games, which signaled that the Hawks would be more competitive in the second half of the season.


©MMXX  Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, and team names are property of the National Basketball Association. This site is not affiliated with the Atlanta Hawks of the NBA. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
Page created on March 12, 2003. Last updated on April 16, 2020,  at 11:35 pm ET.