On Wednesday January 29th, the scheduled Detroit Pistons at Atlanta Hawks game was postponed due to unsafe traveling conditions in Atlanta. After their much-needed home win against the Orlando Magic, the Pistons never boarded their Tuesday night plane to Atlanta. Collegian games at Georgia State were also postponed due to the poor weather conditions surrounding Atlanta.
The Detroit Pistons are a part of a deflated Eastern Conference, outperformed by its Western Conference counterparts. With only 4 teams in the Eastern Conference having a winning record, the Pistons are tied in 9th place with the New York Knicks at 18 wins and 27 losses apiece. The Pistons, however, did hand the first place Indiana Pacers their only home loss, a bright spot in the Detroit season to say the least.
The Atlanta Hawks are in third place in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 23 wins and 21 losses. Lead by former Utah Jazz power forward Paul Millsap, the Atlanta Hawks were favored for Wednesday’s game over the struggling Pistons. Although the Pistons have some promising young talent in former Milwaukee Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings and developing center Greg Monroe, their lack of team identity has crippled their defense. Defense wins championships; appropriately the 2006 Detroit Pistons championship team, led by point guard Chauncey Billups, is often regarded as the best defensive team in post-shot-clock NBA history.
The frozen Atlanta roads have made it impossible for media crews or sports teams to get into the city. The severe winter storms have trapped thousands of motorists on Georgia’s interstates, including Georgia Tech sports information director Dean Buchan, Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman and Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman. Georgia has been declared in a state of emergency, as students have been forced to sleep at schools and motorists are stranded unable to operate their vehicles.
It would later be reported through his Twitter, Tom Herman walked with his luggage for some time down the icy roads, before being picked up and taken to the airport. Freddie Freeman, after being stuck in his car for 11 hours, was rescued by his former teammate Chipper Jones and his 4 wheeler.
The Wednesday Detroit Pistons at Atlanta Hawks game, although being postponed, has not had an official make up date announced. It is hard to say when Atlanta will be safe to travel to again and how this will affect the NBA schedule. The postponed game will also have an effect on NBA fantasy basketball, where constructed teams compete against one another through player stats. This means fantasy league owners will be missing out on Jenning’s 16.9 points per game, 8.2 assists and 1.6 steals.
It seems likely the game will be rescheduled for Thursday night since both teams do not have scheduled games. This would mean the Atlanta Hawks would play three games in three days, having games scheduled on Friday against the Philadelphia 76ers and Saturday at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
With the Detroit Pistons at Atlanta Hawks game being postponed, the NBA will have its agenda full with how to handle this situation. Basketball, a game predominately played indoors, is usually not a victim of poor weather, in contrast to other American outdoor sports.
By Zane Foley