With a 128-103 road loss to the Pistons (5-10) Friday, the Hawks fell to 4-11.
Below are some takeaways from the loss:
1. It took Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce about an hour to address the media after this defeat, which is much longer than usual — the team had an extended talk after the game, which started out promising but came apart at the seams after a 20-0 run by the Pistons in the first quarter. The bottom line is Pierce was particularly disappointed in the way the Hawks, who have lost five in a row and eight of their last nine, competed. “Learning how to compete,” Pierce said of what the team’s conversation was about. “(That’s) kind of it. Learning how to compete, learning how to communicate, and what it takes to win in the NBA, what it takes to be a pro. ... If one of us isn’t there, then none of us are there. It’s all about us. We have to hold each other to a higher standard. One player being great and one player being poor means we’re poor. That’s just the way it is. That’s what ‘team’ is.”
2. After struggling with slow starts for several games, it seemed like the Hawks had finally broken the pattern, with a quick 9-2 run forcing a Pistons timeout. Then, with a 17-7 lead at the 7:54 mark, the Hawks went without a point for six minutes and five seconds, with a floater by DeAndre’ Bembry finally coming with 1:49 left in the first. Over that drought, the Hawks missed seven 3-point attempts, and they trailed 33-23 heading into the second quarter. But that scoring drought was a big point of frustration for Pierce, particularly when the Hawks kept going for 3’s with plenty of time left on the shot clock: “I thought we, offensively, stopped competing. We went for home runs in the first quarter. The reason we had the lead was we defended. DeAndre’ Bembry gets I think three layups in that first go. Our next six shots were all 3’s. Our next six shots were 3’s with 15, 18, 13, 14 on the shot clock.”
3. Rookie Cam Reddish missed this game with a left wrist sprain, which he sustained when falling to the ground after colliding with Robin Lopez in the fourth quarter of Wednesday’s loss to Milwaukee. Bembry started in his place and was a bright spot in the loss, setting career-highs in points (22), field goals made (9 of 13) and 3-pointers (4-for-5). Bembry also added four steals, six assists and four rebounds. Bembry’s take on the team’s meeting after the game: “Just having a conversation on how we can get better from this and how not to do this again, that’s really what it was. Everyone’s talking, giving their input, just trying to learn from this and move forward.”
4. The Pistons shot well from 3-point range, making 17 of 34 (50%) compared to the Hawks’ 10 of 37 (27%). The Hawks missing Kevin Huerter hurts their 3-point shooting, of course, and Trae Young had a quiet night as well, adding nine points, eight assists and six rebounds, making 1 of 7 3-point attempts.
5. Fresh off scoring a career-high 27 points in the loss to Milwaukee Wednesday, rookie De’Andre Hunter had 18 points and four assists, with 16 of those points coming in the second quarter (that’s the most he’s scored in a single quarter). In seven consecutive games, Hunter has scored in double figures, and he’s had at least one 3-pointer in each of those seven games.
By the numbers
59.8% (what the Pistons shot from the field, compared to the Hawks’ 43.2%)
“Not in there. Nothing gets solved in those meetings. But if you see something, you’ve got to say it, and I had to say it, and they had to say it, and they had to air it. What gets resolved is what happens next.” (Lloyd Pierce on if he got the reaction he wanted from the team during the post-game meeting)
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.