What if homecoming helped the hawks get back into shape? Against the Heat last night in Atlanta, Trae Young’s friends had the opportunity to erase their recent poor performance by sending off a Miami side that wasn’t easy to play with. The result is clear: a defeat of 91 against 115, the ninth in a row at home. It doesn’t look like The Hawks’ downfall will stop any time soon.
We’re starting to wonder if last spring’s adventure was really a daydream.
The phrase has been attached to the hearts of Atlanta fans all summer and from the start of the season, but it’s now present in all discussions of the NBA. There are Hawks fans who shake their heads and wonder what’s going on, and there are outside observers who rub their heads, too. But who are these players playing in Atlanta now? After a complicated road trip, which saw Nate McMillan out of his squad for Covid, Clint Kabila injured and Georgia players losing 5 of their seven away games, the idea was to come home with better intentions. And with some new faces too, Macmillan once again redirected his team and De’Andre Hunter made his big comeback after several weeks of frustrating his team’s play. Knowing that up front, the Heat had to do without Pam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler, there was a real opportunity to play. And there was greater urgency because, in the media, the Hawks have been in contention with several reports highlighting the players’ discontent within the group, plus the State Farm Arena has not seen a victory since last November 23. Yeah yeah, you read that right, November 23, 2021, almost two months without a single home win. Since Thanksgiving? Bogdan Bogdanovic and his forces won all of their away matches, which makes us wonder if the silence in their room isn’t so heavy in the end. More seriously, by sighing at a press conference and declaring that we would have to do better, it had to be resumed at one point or another, right?
Let us first of all return to Caesar what belongs to him, and in this case to Eric Spoelstra what is due to him. More than well positioned in the race for Coach of the Year, the Heat coach once again provided a lesson in keeping his guys motivated no matter the circumstances, and empowering youngsters full of energy. So Caleb Martin and Omer Yurtseven bowed in Atlanta’s very bad racquet, admirably accompanying the glowing Tuff of Tyler Hero in the first period. Between killer penetrations, mid-range shots and huge blocks on the board, Jack Harlow’s favorite crack was simply the best player on the field…and by far. If The Heat can count on its king off the bench, in the third quarter in particular, visitors created the distance by holding onto a massive runoff from the locker room. Quite simply, the sign of the ready-made collection is just the opposite. Because while Gabe Vincent and his buddies made sure Atlanta stayed 10-15 points behind, the Hawks dragged their feet and sank into the same troubles as recently. Total dependence on a well-defended and therefore ineffective Trae Young (4/15 shooting, 4 stray bullets), defensive generosity with big problems indoors and closing on shooters, and above all the mental toughness of the `folding deck` chair. It’s simple: just put the Basto on this Atlanta team until it loses its potential, and doesn’t know how to respond. That same team, which appeared in Philadelphia and was 25 points behind to end up winning, is now unable to withstand the shock and imposed opposition. It’s scary to see, and to see, that this group no longer exists at all with an abandoned leadership. The first cry of warning came from GM Travis Schlink, who recently suggested that it might not be a good idea to stretch all players, as the sequel was a series of subtle head-and-toe shaking from right to left between locker room tires. An absolute mess, which doesn’t suggest anything good a few weeks before the trade deadline.
Because yes, Atlanta management will be able to find someone who will take back Danilo Galinari or Cam Reddish to name a few, but will that be enough to revive this team? Will we have to count on a fresh batch internally for the players to recover, like last year when Lloyd Pierce was fired in early March? It’s too late, and because of the losing streak, the Hawks won’t be able to afford such luxury as the approaching All-Star Break. What is certain is that various absences are hurting at the moment, and when the players are present, the efforts are not there. All we’d advise you to do is grab your popcorn and watch the Atlanta Circus, because there’s only going to be two directions for the rest of the season: Either it’s crumbling and big haul goes everywhere. senses (including John Collins), or are cocked and nodding as often as we do now when the hawks are unable to make us understand what is going on.
Atlanta fans are already a hassle, imagine what it’s like when you have year-round tickets there this season. Ninth defeat in a row at home, players who check their pumps and opponents know they can have fun against them: the Hawks on the brink. It’s up to Travis Schlink to act, before it’s too late.
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