Out-of-sync offense dooms Hawks in blowout loss to Sixers

PHILADELPHIA — Off-kilter on both ends of the floor, the Hawks (3-3) were blown out by the 76ers 122-94 in Philadelphia on Saturday.

Next up, the Hawks return home and will host the Wizards on Monday.

Below are some takeaways from the loss:

1. The Hawks looked out-of-sorts in the first quarter, committing five turnovers, giving up 12 fast-break points and quickly falling behind 13. Trae Young (13 points, 10 assists) received a technical foul, and Danilo Gallinari (four points, four rebounds) committed a flagrant foul. The rest of the game followed suit as 19 turnovers and a disconnected offense led to easy baskets in transition for Philly (4-2), with 21 fast-break points at the half and 34 overall. Down 27 in the fourth quarter with 5:13 to play, the Hawks pulled their rotation guys. Some of the issue on offense, per Hawks coach Nate McMillan, is individual players trying to get involved on a deep team and capitalize on their opportunities. Understanding sacrifice, something he’s preached since taking the job, is the solution, he said.

2. Another part of that disconnect on offense is quick shots. Ideally, if the Hawks don’t have a rim attempt or open look early, the plan is to move the ball and play in their third or fourth option, but they’re not getting that far, McMillan said, which means Philly’s defense didn’t have to do much work. The Hawks shot 37.9% from the field to the Sixers’ 53.5%.

“I think our mind is more focused on offense and how to get involved offensively as opposed to focusing on defense and working together on the offensive end of the floor. … You can have all the talent in the world, but if it’s not connected, it’s not going to work,” McMillan said. “And right now, we’re not playing connected basketball. I think offensively, we’re taking opportunities, it’s like ‘My turn, your turn, his turn,’ and that’s just leading to bad play on the offensive end of the floor, but it’s also leading to a disconnect on the defense end of the floor.”

3. Considering the Hawks pulled a major upset in last season’s playoffs, as the No. 5 seed knocking off No. 1-seed Sixers in the Eastern Conference semifinals, this game certainly had an added layer of intrigue to it. The Hawks knew the Sixers would have it circled on their calendar, McMillan said pregame, but ultimately they couldn’t stop Philly from exacting a little revenge. The Hawks have to understand the opposition will have a different mentality this year, Young said after the loss:

“I think guys have to understand we’re the hunted now, we’re not the hunters anymore, people are coming at us and ready to play every night, and we’ve got to come with the same energy,” Young said. “We can’t be not ready to play from the beginning. We’ve got to understand that and take that as a challenge.”

4. Especially early in the game, Cam Reddish was again a bright spot for the Hawks, as not much else went right. He came off the bench to lead the Hawks in scoring with 16 points (7-14 FG, 2-5 from 3-point range) in about 20 minutes, to go with two rebounds and an assist. He’s averaging 16.2 points through six games. Bogdan Bogdanovic added 13 points, and Clint Capela added 11 points and 12 rebounds.

5. The 7-foot-tall Joel Embiid is always hard to contain, though it was slightly more manageable for the Hawks in last season’s playoff series — Embiid was playing injured, but still averaged 30.4 points, 12.7 rebounds and two blocks. This time, Embiid had 19 points and five rebounds, with forward Tobias Harris tallying a team-high 22 points and 11 rebounds, leading to the Sixers tallying 60 points in the paint to the Hawks’ 36.

Stat of the game: 34 (the amount of fast-break points the Sixers had, with success in transition)

Star of the game: Harris (led the Sixers in scoring and rebounding with 22 and 11)

Quotable: “It’s nothing I’m worried about. I don’t know what everybody else is, I’m not worried. It’s six games in.” (Young on the Hawks having some disconnection on offense early in the season)

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