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Hawks ‘disappointed’ they weren’t included in NBA’s restart

May 14, 2018 Atlanta: The Atlanta Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk introduces Lloyd Pierce as the 13th full-time coach in the Atlanta history of the NBA basketball franchise on Monday, May 14, 2018, in Atlanta. Pierce joins the Hawks after spending the past five seasons as an assistant coach with the 76ers. He also spent time with the Cavaliers, Warriors and Grizzlies organizations.   Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com
May 14, 2018 Atlanta: The Atlanta Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk introduces Lloyd Pierce as the 13th full-time coach in the Atlanta history of the NBA basketball franchise on Monday, May 14, 2018, in Atlanta. Pierce joins the Hawks after spending the past five seasons as an assistant coach with the 76ers. He also spent time with the Cavaliers, Warriors and Grizzlies organizations. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: ccompton@ajc.com

The Hawks are one of eight teams not included in the NBA's plans to restart its regular season in Orlando, which consists of teams who were in playoff contention at the time of the season's suspension March 11 and six teams who are within six games of a postseason spot.

As such, their 2019-2020 season has come to a close. They went 20-47, the fourth-worst record in the NBA – lottery odds will be based off team’s records as of March 11, so those won’t change regardless of what happens in Orlando.

In a joint statement, general manager Travis Schlenk and coach Lloyd Pierce expressed their disappointment that the Hawks would not be able to finish out the year (they had 15 games still to play).

“This certainly wasn’t how we hoped our season would come to an end, and it’s fair to say that we are disappointed that our young team will not be allowed to gain more valuable time playing together by being included in the restart of the season. With that said, we understand and respect the countless difficult factors that entered into this decision for the league, and we realize that there are much more important things taking place in our community right now that deserve our attention.”

After starting out 8-32, the Hawks went 12-15 from Jan. 14 to March 11, and the statement called that improvement to the forefront.

“We would like to recognize and thank our players for their dedication, connectedness and patience during this unprecedented time,” the statement read. “We saw promising growth during the season and significant improvement individually and collectively from the start of the campaign through March 11. Since that time, our players, with the support of our coaching and athletic training staffs, have been diligent and professional in staying prepared, in the hopes of having the opportunity to restart their season and finish strong.”

It's not clear what the offseason rules and procedures will be for the eight teams excluded from Orlando. As of now, teams cannot practice together in practice facilities and only individual workouts are allowed, but that may change since games are tentatively scheduled to begin July 31.

“We remain engaged in finding ways for our team to compete and continue the important growth and development that was a core focus for our team this season,” the statement read.

The possible start date for the 2020-2021 season is Dec. 1, although it’s possible that could get pushed back to late December. If that’s the case, the Hawks may go around nine months without playing a game.