The Atlanta Hawks put together a dismal outing Monday night against the Chicago Bulls, losing 97-58, and leaving Hawks coach Larry Drew baffled by his players’ performance.
“This was very, very embarrassing,” Drew said in the postgame news conference. “From where we were as a team to where we are right now, we have lost all sense of team on both ends of the floor. Why that has happened, I really can’t put my finger on it.”
The Hawks managed to put up a bleak 20 first-half points on the board, five of which came in the second quarter. They also set a new franchise low for first-half and second-quarter points in Atlanta team history.
Immediately following the game, Drew announced that he would be making adjustments to the starting lineup because players appeared to have lost trust in each other at both ends of the floor.
“Why that has happened, I really have no idea,” Drew said. “I will say, it’s time that we do shake things up. As we go back to Atlanta to prepare for Brooklyn, there will be some changes. We have to find a group that will compete on both ends at a high level with no excuses, with no finger-pointing as far as blaming officials, blaming each other.”
The Hawks were close to matching a franchise low in points with 57 set by the Milwaukee Hawks against Boston on Feb. 27, 1955. Jeff Teague prevented that record with a layup in the closing seconds.
The Hawks found it difficult to score in the second quarter, only connecting on 2 of 21 shots. Al Horford made the first basket of the quarter with 5:17 remaining in quarter. The Hawks found themselves trailing 28-points by halftime to the Bulls 48-20.
“We just couldn’t buy a bucket and we weren’t getting any call going to the basket,” Hawks forward Josh Smith said. “I guess we’ve got to grind a little harder when it’s more adversity hitting us in the face.”
The third quarter did not start much better for the Hawks, who allowed the Bulls to get up as much as 34 points in the quarter.
Drew pinpoints the Hawks struggles with their effort of play.
“They are being paid to bring effort every single night,” he said. “… I don’t know but I’m going to have to do something to jump start us because right now we have flat-lined.”
At one point during the season the Hawks were 20-10, but they are currently 21-16, losing six of the past seven games, which include five straight road games. The Bulls have now climbed to the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference while the Hawks have fallen to sixth.
“We don’t play with the same sense of urgency,” Kyle Korver said. “We are not running the floor as well. We are not getting easy shots. We don’t get any easy shots right now.”
The easy shots that the Hawks received, they were unable to connect on Monday. They shot a horrendous 29.3 percent from the field. They only compiled 39 total rebounds, whereas the Bulls had 59. They were also outscored in the 44-30 in the paint.
Rookie Mike Scott was the bright spot for the Hawks against the Bulls. He was the only double-digit scorer for the team with 10 points in 16 minutes of action.
Carlos Boozer led the Bulls with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Luol Deng chipped in 18 points and Joakim Noah pounded the boards with 16 rebounds.
The Hawks will face the Nets on Wednesday as they look to start playing with the same sense of urgency they had at the beginning of year. Fans at the Highlight Factory can look forward to a new lineup.
“He [Drew] is our leader and our director,” Smith said. “Whatever he decides I have to be behind him 100 percent. … Whatever he thinks we need to do is what we need to do.”