This time, Hawks turned to hard practice to get back on track

Mike Budenholzer values a good film session when he senses slippage in his Hawks team.

However, the coach turned to a good old-fashioned hard practice Tuesday with the Hawks mired in a season-long three-game losing streak. Paul Millsap joked the workout was like one from a training camp.

It worked.

The Hawks broke out of their offensive woes — for at least one game — with a 127-106 victory over the hapless 76ers on Wednesday. They set season-highs in points and field-goal percentage (.615).

“It’s more of a feel or a gut thing,” Budenholzer said Thursday of his decision to opt for a hard practice. “There are some times when you just have to get out and practice, compete, by physical, sweat and work. More traditional work. Sometimes film is a little more cerebral.”

Recommended for you

Recommended for you

Recommended for you

Most read

  1. 1 UGA assistant under fire for racially charged comments about whites
  2. 2 Nurse charged with sexual assault after woman in vegetative state give
  3. 3 More blood pressure medications recalled over cancer-causing substance

The Hawks now start a two-game trip against conference opponents, with the Celtics on Friday and the Magic on Sunday. The Hawks (15-12) have split two games with the Celtics (14-12), with each winning at home. The Hawks will meet the Magic (14-11) for the first time. In the crowded Eastern Conference, the Magic are seventh and the Hawks are ninth, both three games behind the Cavaliers, and the Celtics are 10th and 3 1/2 games back.

Keeping the momentum, habits and effort shown in the win over the 76ers will be the key in the Hawks’ search for consistency. Wednesday’s win was their eighth after a 7-1 start. The Hawks won two consecutive once since Nov. 7.

“That’s the challenge for us,” Al Horford said of keeping their momentum. “This year we have been up and down so much as a team. This is a great opportunity for us to start being more consistent and really build those good habits that we had last year.”

The Hawks scored 66 first-half and 61 second-half points in the rout of the 76ers. There also was good news from the 3-point range, where the Hawks made 10 of 21 attempts. Kyle Korver, Jeff Teague and Dennis Schroder had two each. Budenholzer reiterated after the win that the Hawks have been getting open shots in previous games but failed to make them. He said it helped that the open shots against the 76ers were coming off more movement, better screens and sharper cuts. The practice session helped.

“I would say both (video and practice) are good and effective and appropriate, and hopefully you walk the line and figure out what is best,” Budenholzer said. “Some guys can watch film, really take it in and then go out and do on the court. Sometimes, you need to actually do it on the court and see it and feel it.”

More from AJC