The Atlanta Hawks are set to open their 2010-11 basketball season. The Hawks will play their first game in Memphis against the Grizzlies on October 27. Opening night at home will be October 30 against the Washington Wizards. Fans have high hopes for this season, as the Hawks have continued to improve over the last five years.
The Hawks will play this season under new head coach Larry Drew. The team announced his two year contract in June 2010. Drew spent ten seasons as an NBA player and is a long time assistant coach. He spent the last six years as an assistant in Atlanta.
The Hawks franchise dates back to 1946. They were one of the NBA's 17 original teams. At that time the team was known as the Tri-Cities Blackhawks and was shared by three neighboring cities along the Mississippi River: Davenport, Iowa and Moline and Rock Island, Illinois. In 1951 the team moved to Milwaukee and was renamed the Hawks. During their time in Milwaukee, the Hawks were one of the league's worst teams. In 1956 the team moved to St. Louis where they enjoyed success through the rest of the decade.
The Hawks won several Division Titles, and in the 1957-58 season they won the NBA championship. In 1968 the Hawks moved again, this time to Atlanta. The team has had up and down years in Atlanta but has managed to win several more Division Titles. During the 1990s the Hawks posted seven consecutive winning seasons. During the early years of this decade the team struggled through injuries and coaching changes, but in the last five years they have continued to improve their record.
When at home in Atlanta, the Hawks play at Philips Arena. Built in 1999, the arena is located in the heart of downtown, next to CNN Center and Centennial Olympic Park. The facility seats over 18,000 fans. Philips Arena is also the home of the Atlanta Thrashers NHL team and the Atlanta Dream of the WNBA.
Fans are looking forward to this season with Coach Drew implementing a new offensive philosophy. The Hawks' starting five is experienced and healthy, and the team hopes to see continued improvement in their young players. Hawks' fans hope to have plenty to cheer about this season.