On the second night of a back-to-back, the Hawks (3-4) lost to the Bulls 113-93 in a lackluster, mistake-filled performance Wednesday at State Farm Arena.
Below are some takeaways from the loss:
1. In his postgame press conference, really the only positive Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce could take away was that the game was over. This was a real clunker for the Hawks, as they looked sluggish from start to finish. Given the quick turnaround, that would normally be a little understandable, had the Bulls not also been on the second night of a back-to-back, having traveled from Chicago to Atlanta after losing to the Lakers at home last night.
Trae Young on the low energy level hurting the Hawks in the loss: “It was definitely a lack of focus. ... Give credit to them, they played hard, they came off a back-to-back, got in late last night, and they didn’t have that type of energy. That’s definitely something that us as a young team has to learn. No one’s going to feel sorry for us.”
2. The Hawks struggled from the get-go, falling into a 33-19 hole after the first quarter, opening up shooting 31.6% from the field and 12.5% from 3-point range. They ultimately shot 41.1% from the field and 20% from 3, but it was their defense and effort that killed them. The Bulls made 13 3s and shot 50 percent from the field. “You can watch and see there was just bad body language, guys weren’t ready, they shot the 3 well, we gave up strong-side 3s which you don’t do in the NBA,” Pierce said. “We just didn’t care. We didn’t have the ‘care factor’ today. It’s a teachable moment, because it’s our first back-to-back, and this is where you’ve really got to grind and dig in.”
3. With a season-high 24 turnovers, the Hawks put themselves at even more of a disadvantage. The Bulls tallied 11 steals, yes, but many of the Hawks’ turnovers were unforced, passes that were aimed for the wrong player or simply off the mark.
4. In his second game back from his right ankle sprain, Young had a quieter game as the Bulls did everything they could to take him out of a rhythm. A lot of that attention, Pierce pointed out, is probably because Young dropped 49 points (and had 16 assists) vs. the Bulls last season in a 4-OT loss March 1. “Chicago will never let Trae have an easy game the rest of his career,” Pierce said. Young finished with nine points, three assists and three turnovers, going 0-for-8 from 3.
5. In his second game starting in John Collins’ stead, Jabari Parker led the Hawks in scoring with 18 points and has shown himself to be a consistent scorer, with double figures in six out of seven games so far. Parker added five rebounds and two steals. He’s averaging 14.7 points per game.
By the numbers
29 (both the percentage the Hawks are shooting from 3-point range this season, after going 6-for-30 Wednesday, and what they’re ranked in the league in 3-point shooting, out of 30 teams)
“We’ve got to be mentally focused and approach each game like it’s our last, and we didn’t do that today.” (Trae Young on the Hawks’ mentality in the loss)
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