Frustration bubbles up for Hawks in loss to Wizards

The Hawks (3-2) looked frustrated and struggled to get stops in a 122-111 loss to the Wizards (4-1) Thursday in Washington.

Next up, the Hawks will continue their road trip in Philadelphia Saturday.

Below are some takeaways from the loss:

1. With technical fouls awarded to Trae Young, John Collins and De’Andre Hunter, plus another tech given to the team for a delay of game, you could sense the frustration stemming from the Hawks, particularly at certain no-calls. The NBA is trying to crack down on “non-basketball moves” used to draw fouls, but it’s caused some conflict across the league, including for the Hawks, who were No. 4 in free-throw attempts last season (24.2 attempts per game) and through five games this season are No. 28 (15.2). They went 9-for-14 from the line Thursday, to the Wizards’ 17-for-21. Similar feelings bubbled up in Saturday’s loss to Cleveland, but the Hawks can’t let that get to them, coach Nate McMillan said after the game.

“The officiating can’t be a distraction,” McMillan said. “We had four or five techs tonight. That’s ridiculous. It wasn’t the officiating that was beating us, it was our play. ... We saw this in Cleveland, very similar in that game, getting frustrated, and I think more of the frustration is coming from the offense, and we’re taking that to the defensive end of the floor, and we’ve got to correct that.”

2. Young (15 points, 13 assists, 2-3 FT) has voiced his frustration with the new rules/interpretations, and did so again after Thursday’s loss, though he did say he agrees with shooters not being allowed to jump/veer into defenders anymore. His main issue is when a player is knocked off balance when driving in the lane: “That’s why, especially a smaller guy like me who’s going up against bigger, stronger defenders, they’re using their body and they’re using their legs and their hands to stop me. I know they’re looking for guys getting knocked off-balance, so if I’m going straight and I get my balance knocked off, that’s a foul.”

3. Lack of offense wasn’t the problem for the Hawks — they shot 54.5% from the field and had 68 points in the paint. Ultimately, defense was the main issue. Even as they ate into the deficit in the fourth quarter, they couldn’t consistently get stops, with four Wizards players finishing with 20-plus points despite not having Spencer Dinwiddie (rest): Bradley Beal (27), Montrezl Harrell (25), Kyle Kuzma (21) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (21). The Wizards also grabbed 14 offensive rebounds, to the Hawks’ six.

4. Cam Reddish had a strong showing off the bench, helping the Hawks get back in the game in the fourth quarter, at one point whittling it down to a five-point deficit. Reddish finished with 20 points (8-14 FG) and was a bright spot for Atlanta, amid a tough game.

5. Collins led the Hawks in scoring with 28 points (14-16 FG) and added 12 rebounds for a double-double, continuing his strong shooting start to the season.

Wizards 122, Hawks 111 (box score)

Stat of the game: 4 (the amount of technical fouls the Hawks piled up, as frustration bubbled up for Atlanta)

Star of the game: Beal (led Washington in scoring with 27 points, adding eight assists and eight rebounds)

Quotable: “The other part is just us being more poised. We’ve got to understand who we are in the moment of the game and really take into consideration how we want to win and can’t have stupid mistakes like giving them free points.” (Collins on the Hawks needing to stay focused despite calls not going their way)

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