How the Hawks trailed by as many as 44 points in another loss

Atlanta Hawks guard Dennis Schroder (17) goes to the basket as Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (43) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

Atlanta Hawks guard Dennis Schroder (17) goes to the basket as Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (43) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, in Toronto. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

Five observations from the Hawks’ 128-84 loss to the Raptors Saturday.

1. This is not Hawks basketball. The offense is just not on a level that has been its trademark the past three seasons. The players know it.

“We’ve got to get back to making our offense where it’s special – where the ball is moving, guy are getting it in their sweet spots, guys are making the extra pass,” Kyle Korver said. “We’ve got to find that again. Right now, we don’t have that. The way we are designed, the way our offense is designed, the way we are when we are good, we all know what that looks like. We have to get back to that mindset of how do I set the best screens possible? How do I get the ball out of my hands as quick as possible and get it to the next guy and he gets it to the next guy? How do we get in the mindset of passing up a good shot for a great shot? We have to find those things again because that is at the core of who we’ve been when we are doing things well. Right now, we don’t have that.”

2. When the offense began to struggle, players once again took too much into their own hands. That's not how the system is designed. One bad shot and the Hawks get caught out of position in transition.

“As a competitor you want to get it back,” Kent Bazemore said when asked if the team felt pressure when facing another deficit. “You come down and take a quick 3 or you try to force something. It’s frustrating because we all have good intentions but we are just executing the wrong way. We are harping on it. We are talking about it. We see how good we can be when the ball is moving and everyone is touching the ball, using all the pieces we have. If it sticks and it doesn’t move, it’s just a bad team. We have to understand the only way we are going to win is to play the right way.”

3. You can use Dwight Howard as an example of one player not getting the ball in his sweet spot of late. The center has a total of 12 points in the past two games. Howard was dominant inside early in the season. That's simply not the case, at least offensively, right now.

“We would welcome it,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said on whether they are missing points from Howard. “I think he’s capable of more. I think we are capable of getting him the ball in better spots, different moments. One player is not the problem. A particular guy not scoring, we’ve got more to deal with that other than that.”

4. With the current six-game losing streak, part of nine losses in 10 games, the Hawks are fighting frustration. It reared it heads at times Saturday.

“We got a little frustrated at times on the floor,” Howard said. “It showed. We have to do a better job of holding our composure and understand it’s not going to be like this all season. Things will get better.”

Several Hawks players said they need practice time to right their ship. The current compact schedule, with road games, has left little time in the gym or film room. The team got into Toronto in the early morning after a home loss to the Pistons. The result was just a 30-minute scout meeting. That’s not going to work against a team a capable as the Raptors.

“I think it’s been a tough stretch of the schedule,” Korver said. “I think we need, as a team, to commit ourselves to the process. We need to have some good practices. We need to have some good film sessions. We’ve got to change some things.

5. To the game itself, the Hawks tried to take away Raptors All-Stars Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. It didn't work. The commitment to stop the guard duo led to wide-open attempts for others, especially from 3-point range. The Raptors had eight players in double figures. They shot 58 percent from the field, including 54 percent from 3-point range. Even with pick-and-roll coverages and traps, DeRozan still scored 21 and Lowry still scored 17 in the balanced attack.

“We made a choice to put a lot of pressure on DeRozan and Lowry,” Budenholzer said. “They are a good team. You take something away and those other guys were able to make some 3’s tonight. (Patrick) Patterson particularly in the second quarter. DeRozan and Lowry still find other ways to score but in the pick-and-roll game we decided to put a lot of pressure on them.”