Hawks: Nate McMillan leads squad into challenging road trip

Nate McMillan

The Hawks have been red hot recently and are putting on a show for the Atlanta fans. Since he took over, Nate McMillan has lit a fire under this squad and led them to seven straight wins. There is a notable difference in how the team plays defense as a whole, the team’s fourth-quarter play, and the second unit’s production.

However, the Hawks don’t have time to be complacent, as they start an eight-game road trip out west. It tips off this Saturday against the Lakers. Despite being without Anthony Davis, the Lakers will give the Hawks all they can handle and likely more. LeBron James is still the best player in the world, and Los Angeles is still one of the best defensive teams in the league even without Davis.

The road trip doesn’t get any easier after that either, as Atlanta will stay in Los Angeles to face the Clippers Monday night — another incredibly tough challenge for the ascending Hawks.

From there, Atlanta will play every other night, starting with the Kings. This is certainly the “easiest” game of this road trip and could be the only game the Hawks are favored to win by oddsmakers. After that, the Hawks will play the Warriors, Nuggets, Suns, Spurs, and finally the Pelicans — the last two being back-to-back. With the way Atlanta has been playing, each of these games is winnable, but the Hawks will have to upset a team or two to stay above .500 on the season.

Realistically, the Hawks should be able to maintain the 6th seed — they are currently 5th in the East — with a 3-5 or 4-4 record on the road trip. It is surely possible the Hawks continue their stellar play and win five-plus games on the trip. However, Hawks fans should not feel discouraged if the team finishes the trip a couple of games below .500.

With the news of De’Andre Hunter closing in on a return and Kris Dunn scheduled to make his Hawks debut on the trip, Atlanta is in a prime position to not only make the playoffs but possibly enter the field as a top-four seed. The next couple of weeks will test the Hawks both physically and mentally, but McMillan’s guys have built up a ton of momentum heading into the test.


Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: