Atlanta Hawks Tickets
Atlanta Hawks are a familiar name in the NBA having been around since 1946. It is one of the original members of the National Basketball Association. The team plays in the Southeast Division of the NBA’s Eastern Conference. Philips Arena which is in the heart of downtown Atlanta is home to the Atlanta Hawks.
The franchise has undergone a lot of changes, be it their name or their location. The team was formed as the Tri-Cities Blackhawks shared by three neighboring river cities (Moline and Rock Island, Illinois, and Davenport, Iowa) on the Mississippi River.
When the franchise moved to Milwaukee, it was then that their nickname was shortened to Hawks. In 1955, the team again relocated to St. Louis, to finally settle in Atlanta, in 1968.
It was in 1958, during the time when they were placed in St. Louis that the Hawks won their first and only National Championship. They defeated the Boston Celtics in six games to capture the title. The franchise won five consecutive Western Conference titles from 1957 to 1961.
With names like Pete "Pistol Pete" Maravich, Dominique Wilkins, Dikembe Mutombo, Mookie Blaylock, Moses Malone, and legendary head coach Lenny Wilkens having played for the team, the Atlanta Hawks have a rich history they can be proud of. The Hawks are also known to keep some very interesting monikers for their players such as Walt “Big Bells” Bellamy, Dominique Wilkins “The Human Highlight Film” and Pete “The Pistol” Maravich. The franchise has remained unlucky when it comes to winning championships but they remain one of the most resilient teams of the NBA.
The franchise has had a turbulent history. When it joined the National Basketball league in 1946, the NBL had teams like the Toledo Jeeps, the Oshkosh All-Stars, the Youngstown Bears, and the Sheboygan Redskins. At the time, Ben Kerner owned the Blackhawks and the team played at the Wharton Field House which had a 6,000-seat capacity.
The team could not make it to the playoffs in their first season. They tried to bounce back a year later and managed to make it to the first round of the postseason.
In the 1948-49season, the Blackhawks made it to the playoffs with a 36-28 record behind the 7 footer Don Otten, who lead the league to score 14.0 points per game. However, they could not make it to the second round. 1949 -1950 season marked the Tri Cities joining the NBA. It was among the 17 teams that joined NBA.
The Only World Championship Win and the Legend Bob Pettit
The team enjoyed moderate success for years. Things started to look up for them, when the Hawks acquired Bob Pettit, who remained with the team from 1954-1965. Today he is considered as one of the giants of professional basketball. With him coming into the fold and the Hawks move to St. Louis, Missouri, in 1955, fortunes turned for the better. The move proved to be lucky because it was here that the club won their first championship.
The St.Louis Hawks managed to make it to the NBA finals during the 1956–57 season, but lost to the Boston Celtics in seven games. The Hawks returned the next season with a vengeance to defeat the Celtics in an enthralling NBA finals series and won the series with a 4-2. With this, the Hawks finally earned their first title in the franchise’s history. This was the year 1958 and Bob Pettit was the star of the game, he gave a winning performance and scored 50 points in the final game. Clearly after this performance he is considered to be among the best power forwards in NBA history.
The Long Drought
Since their 1958 win, the club has been on a championship drought which is the second longest in the NBA. Their quest for the NBA Championship seems endless but the Hawks have managed to win five Division titles and four Conference titles.
For the next ten years the Hawks remained among NBA’s leading teams. In 1960, the team again made it to the finals but was unable to defeat the Celtics. Then next year again they repeated the feat with the same result. For most part of the 60’s the team remained contenders and advanced to playoffs and also clinched several division titles.
The Rebuilding Years & The Human Highlight Film
1968 was the year that marked the teams move to Atlanta. The early Atlanta team had many notable names like Walt Bellamy, Lou Hudson and Pete Maravich. Although the Hawks had a talented roster they underwent a rebuilding phase.
Rookie Dominique Wilkins joined the team in 1982. His acrobatic slam dunks earned him the nickname “Human Highlight Film”. Wilkins would fire up the Atlanta crowd with his thrilling performance. Wilkins was also a high scorer. He played an important part in leading the Hawks to four consecutive 50-win seasons in the 80’s. He made his mark as one of the most prolific scorers in NBA history, but unfortunately as remarkable as his accomplishments were, the team was unable to see postseason success. In his twelve seasons with the team the Hawks were unable to advance past the second round of the NBA playoffs.
The Breakthrough Season
2014-2015 seasons turned out to be the breakthrough season for the Hawks. They won their first division championship since 1994 and were the number one seed in the Eastern Conference. Taking into account the team had to compete with big teams of the time like Miami Heat and Orlando Magic, this was a big deal for them. In the past decade the Hawks have come to be known for their consistency and their competitive play. They are considered by many to be one of the top teams in the league.
The Hawks finished the last season with a 48-34 record. At present their strength lies in their ability to play as a team at both ends of the floor.
In the offseason they made significant moves. With key losses in players like four-time All-Star center Al Horford, and guard Jeff Teague, Hawks are counting on the veterans in the squad to help stabilize things.
The club has gone on to bring Dwight Howard in the fold, who will be Atlanta’s new center and the Hawks have re-signed Kent Bazemore, while point guard reigns have been given to Dennis Schröder.
With Dwight and Schröder in the picture, the Hawks make one of the best defensive teams in the league this season. With new additions there are new expectations from the team. The Atlanta’s will be aiming not just to make it to the playoffs but to find success there in the upcoming season. Watch them live in action with Atlanta Hawks tickets.