Atlanta Hawks Season Began With Games In Abu-Dhabi, Ends With Playoff Loss To Celtics

The 2022-23 NBA season was somewhat of a whirlwind for the Atlanta Hawks. After acquiring Dejounte Murray in July, and trading Kevin Huerter, it was obvious that the Hawks season would look a bit different from the 2021-22 campaign. 

Before the season started, each Hawks player took a polaroid and wrote how they desired for the season to end. Most of the players wrote that they hoped the season would end with the Hawks as NBA champions. 

In September, the Hawks made history playing the first NBA games in Abu Dhabi. Atlanta Daily World made the trip to provide coverage as the Hawks played two preseason games against the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Hawks would open the season with impressive wins against the Houston Rockets and Orlando Magic, only to lose the third game to the lowly Charlotte Hornets. 

For most of the season, the Hawks would remain inconsistent, winning won or two games only to lose the next game. The team would make history by being within one game of .500 for 26 straight games. 

The season was also marred by conflicts between Trae Young and head coach Nate McMillan. By the All-Star break, McMillan was ousted and Quin Snyder was named the head coach days later. 

A coaching change created some excitement, but the Hawks remained mediocre, finishing the season 41-41. 

But the Hawks were able to see the post season as a chance for a new beginning. The upset the Miami Heat in the first play-in game, securing the 7th seed in the East. 

After dropping the first two playoff games to the Boston Celtics, the Hawks would return home and win game 3 in Atlanta. A disappointing outing in game 4 made most people disregard the Hawks chances for game 5 in Boston. 

But Young would channel his 2021 playoff heroics by hitting the game-winning three-pointer to force a game 6 back home in Atlanta. 

With a raucous crowd behind them in Atlanta, and performances by Atlanta rappers Rich Homie Quan and Pastor Troy, the Hawks had all of the momentum in game 6. They would remain close to the Celtics for the entire game, only to miss key shots during the waning moments of the 4th quarter. 

In the end, the Hawks season would be over following a 128-120 defeat to the Celtics. After a season of ups and downs, the Hawks look forward to next season which could mean a lot of changes in the summer. 


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