There are seven teams in the NBA right now with only one loss at home, and six of those teams have .500 records or worse on the road. Of those seven teams, the San Antonio Spurs have one of the worst road records at 2-6. The Atlanta Hawks are 5-4 away from home, but they’re looking to improve their away record on their upcoming road trip which includes a date with the Spurs this Wednesday in San Antonio.
The Hawks, much like the Spurs and a large group of other teams have looked like a completely different team when they’re away from home. If you’re going to compete for a championship, you have to find ways to win on the road, the Hawks are trying to prove they can do just that.
“I’m looking for that consistency on the road where we can go out, night in and night out, and play smart basketball,” Head Coach Larry Drew said. “We realize when we are on the road, we can’t play on the road like we do at home and just go out there and just fire away. We have to be smarter in controlling the tempo and making sure we get the shots that we want and make sure that we keep crowds out of the game.”
The Hawks have a very tough test coming up, but it’s a great chance to test their road skills. When the NBA had to throw this year’s schedule together at the last minute, we knew it was going to make for some interesting travel days. The Hawks have to go from Milwaukee to San Antonio to Detroit to New Orleans to Toronto. Doesn't really make sense, does it? Granted, they get a travel day in between each game, but that still has to take its toll. The good news for the Hawks is that all of those teams are below .500 except for the Spurs, so they’ll have a chance to improve their road record against lesser opponents and maybe get their confidence up for the bigger games.
If this shortened season has taught us anything, it’s how important it is to win away from your home crowd. The teams that head to the finals are going to be the ones who pull out those tough wins on the road. It’s something the Spurs probably know already, and they’ll no doubt be working on the rest of the season.
Malcolm Thomas has been riding the bench quite a while. Is he improving? Is he learning the system? The game against the hawks will be an excellent gauge to measure what he has learn so far. With many big men in the hawk's lineup, he can help defend the interiior. It is unclear what number he plays. Small forward, Power forward? Or just to decorate the spurs lineup or for Leonard to have a playmante coming the same school? He should be waived rather than sitting in the bench!