Hawks blown out by Pistons as Jeff Teague, Treveon Graham suit up

Hawks' Jeff Teague dribbles down the court. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)
Hawks' Jeff Teague dribbles down the court. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Credit: HYOSUB SHIN / AJC

Playing on the second night of a back-to-back, the Hawks (10-33) were taken to task by the Pistons (16-27) in a 136-103 loss Saturday at State Farm Arena.

Below are some takeaways from the loss:

1. Jeff Teague and Treveon Graham, acquired from Minnesota in a trade for Allen Crabbe, officially suited up for the Hawks (Graham for the first time, Teague for his second stint). In a blowout loss with plenty of garbage-time minutes, it's hard to glean much from their performances, but Teague led all bench players with 15 points (6-for-9 in field goals, 1-for-1 from 3-point range, 2-for-2 on free throws), to go with three rebounds, seven assists and five turnovers in 15 minutes and Graham had five points (2-for-4 in field goals, 1-for-2 from 3-point range) in a little less than 13 minutes. "Just feeling him out," Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce said of Teague's first game back in Atlanta. "He doesn't know anything we do, he just goes out on the court and just feel him out. ... There's no chemistry right now, there's nothing, he learned some plays, he's got a good feel of how to play the game. We put him out there and he was fine, but in this game it's hard to evaluate anything."

2. Coming of an emotional down-to-the-wire win against the Spurs Friday, the Hawks' first win in San Antonio since Feb. 15 1997, this was a bit of a letdown. The Hawks  struggled to get much of anything going, trailed by 16 at the half and were held to 21 points in the third quarter, getting down by as much as 36 in the fourth. This was against a shorthanded Pistons team that didn't have Blake Griffin, Reggie Jackson and Luke Kennard. "It's the highs and lows of the NBA," Pierce said. "Just moved on from a good win and you come in and you just have a terrible loss. That sucked. That wasn't a whole lot of fun. Our guys, just the competitive spirit, the energy (that) was there was gone right from the start." John Collins led the Hawks in scoring with 20 points, to go with five rebounds, and Young added 16 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.

3. On that note, the Pistons got whatever they wanted from the get-go, jumping out to a 36-29 lead after the first quarter, shooting 59.3% from the field (and 46.9% from 3) to the Hawks’ 43% (29.4% from 3). Derrick Rose led the Pistons with 27 points and nine assists, registering his eighth-straight game with 20-plus points and paving the way to their season-high in scoring. “We had a defensive game plan and we’ve played this team a bunch of times and we knew how they were going to attack us and I feel like we just didn’t execute on our plan well,” Collins said. “I think we came out a little slow and let them hit us first and didn’t really respond too well.”

4. Playing on the second night of back-to-backs continues to be a challenge for the Hawks, who are 1-8 in that scenario. Their lone win on the second night of a back-to-back, or their second game in two days, was a win against the Pacers Jan. 4, when Young scored 41 points. They’ve got a little time before their next back-to-back, which comes in Orlando Feb. 10 (they host the Knicks the night before). “We’ve struggled on back-to-backs,” Pierce said. “It’s not an excuse, it’s just the reality.”

5. Interestingly, rookie De’Andre Hunter, one of the Hawks who has struggled the most on the second night of back-to-backs, had a solid offensive game with 19 points (8-for-15 on field goals, 2-for-6 from 3-point range, 1-for-1 on free throws), five rebounds and three assists. “The one guy that’s really struggled is De’Andre, and he actually came out, I thought he was good tonight,” Pierce said. “I thought he was in the right mindset. He got downhill, got to his spots.” Hunter has had a quiet January so far, averaging 8.5 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game.

By the numbers 

31 (the amount of assists the Pistons had, compared to the Hawks’ 18)

Quotable 

“They didn’t feel us in the first half. They didn’t feel us all game, actually. And that was the biggest issue. We were just kind of chasing them all night.” (Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce on what went wrong in the loss)

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