The Hawks (34-35) dropped their second consecutive game, losing to the Timberwolves 136-115 on Monday night at State Farm Arena.

Here are five observations:

1. “Trae-T.L.” chants rained down in State Farm Arena as Hawks guard Trae Young made a free throw to score his 33rd point of the game. It was the second consecutive game that Young tried to put some life into the Hawks’ offense.

Young shot 57.1% from the floor in three quarters and was the only Hawks player to consistently find the basket. Without Young’s output, the Hawks shot 29 of 72 from the floor in the game.

Young got into a rhythm early and averaged roughly 10 points per quarter. Young finished with a game-high 41 points, but it was not enough to dig the Hawks out of a 20-point-plus hole.

“They did a lot of just kind of staying with our guys in the wings to try and make it a two-on-two game with the guy in the pick and roll with a big,” Young said. “So that’s why I was able to get a lot of floaters off. ... So I wasn’t able to get to the lob (Monday night), and if guys know I was driving, their man would fan out to their guys.”

2. The Hawks got off to a slow start as the Timberwolves set the tone by forcing a turnover on Atlanta’s first possession. The Timberwolves pushed the game at a frantic pace and scored plenty of points off the fast break.

With the Hawks looking to get back in the game quickly, the urgency to push the pace led to too many turnovers. The Timberwolves jumped on the Hawks’ mistakes, scoring 23 points off 15 turnovers.

Coach Quin Snyder said his team’s missteps early in the game impacted the Hawks’ psyche, and it led to some errors on defense.

“Anytime a live-ball turnover is tough for our team, and I gotta be better,” Young said. “Obviously, I’ve got the ball in my hands a lot. So I know I’m gonna get turnovers and things like that trying to get my teammates involved. But I gotta be better as far as the live-ball turnovers.”

3. The Hawks gave up 76 points in the first half, which did not bode well when they returned from the locker room. Before Monday, the Hawks were 2-6 when they gave up 70 or more points in the first half.

They’ve given up at least 130 points in three of their last five games, allowing an average of 125.4 points per game in that span.

The team tried to address its defensive deficiencies in the offseason, but it still has some ground to make up. Snyder has spoken of the Hawks’ trouble with overhelping numerous times since he joined the club, but Monday came down to allowing the Timberwolves in the paint. Minnesota outscored Atlanta 82-66 in the paint.

“The first thing is, you know, if they get to the rim in transition and obviously you can’t defend against live-ball turnovers, virtually impossible,” Snyder said. “But I didn’t think we were getting back and providing early resistance, so that they see bodies where there aren’t lanes to the basket.”

4. With the Timberwolves getting into the Hawks and sticking close to their assignments, it closed off options for the guards. The Hawks had to find the cracks in Minnesota’s defense, which left Young, Onyeka Okongwu and Dejounte Murray as some of the team’s top scorers.

The Hawks made one 3-pointer in the first half and shot 4-for-22 from distance.

With the 3-pointers not falling, the Hawks were often left in a two-on-two pick-and-roll game. Snyder said the team has to do a better job of keeping the dribble alive, as opposed to settling for shots.

“If you keep your dribble alive, you can eventually get on the rim,” Snyder said. “Or eventually they’ll pull ahead, and then you may have a kick to the corner.”

5. The Hawks outrebounded the Timberwolves 51-37, but it wasn’t enough with Minnesota shooting 58.7% overall.

Timberwolves 136, Hawks 115

Stat to know

Okongwu tied Dwight Jones (176) for 25th on the Hawks’ all-time blocks list.


“We started the game out wrong. I think that just set the tone. I’ve got to do better to start the game.” – Young

Up next

The Hawks host the Warriors at 7:30 p.m. Friday at State Farm Arena.