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Larry Drew frustrated with Hawks team appearing in free-fall

Jan 15, 2013, 12:43 PM EST

Larry Drew AP

The Atlanta Hawks have just been plain ugly the past few weeks. They are 3-7 in their last 10. In those 10 games the Hawks defense has been the biggest issue — they are giving up six points per 100 possessions more than their season average.

But of late their offense has joined the “we’re in free-fall” party — they scored 5 points in the second quarter Monday night against the Bulls, 20 points for the half, and 58 points for the game shooting under 30 percent. And while that is an extreem it follows a recent pattern of worse play on both ends of the court.

After that ugly Monday loss Hawks coach Larry Drew came close to losing it. From the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

“This was a very, very embarrassing,” Drew said. “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. To have a team that started off so well, that really trusted and believed in each other at both ends of the floor, we have lost that sense of trust for one another. Why that has happened, I really have no idea. I will say, it’s time that we do shake things up. As we go back to Atlanta to prepare for Brooklyn (at home Wednesday), 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. We have to go out and we have to play our first few games of the season.

“We need to shake things up and that will be the first line of business when we get back to Atlanta is to make some changes within our lineup.”

I can easily put my finger on part of it — the schedule got hard. When the Hawks went 11-2 from mid-November to mid-December they had some nice wins against the Clippers and Grizzlies but most of it was beating up the Bobcats, Magic, Cavaliers (before Kyrie Irving got back) and the like.

The schedule now is harder — the Rockets, Celtics and Bulls are not pushovers. Neither are the Wizards the past week (with John Wall back and the rest of the roster getting healthy).

It is more like the Hawks are who we thought they were — a good but not great team. One that took advantage of the schedule and beat who they were supposed to beat but now is not responding well to being challenged.

But they are not five points in a quarter bad, either. Drew has to snap them out of their slump, this roster has too much talent to be this bad — Al Horford, Josh Smith and Lou Williams just to start. They will start to play better.

But the bottom line is the Hawks apparently are who we thought they were, and this is just a really harsh regression to the mean.

  1. jhuck92 - Jan 15, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    The Hawks apparently are who we thought they were, but the Bulls didn’t let them off the hook like the last time they met. I was wondering at one point if I was watching a replay of that Knicks game a couple nights ago.

  2. sportsnut101 - Jan 15, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    just when i gave danny ferry credit for ths team playing well team lays an egg lol

    but thats the hawks over the yrs

  3. Jeff - Jan 15, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    Maybe the Hawks could move back to St. Louis.

  4. dko83 - Jan 16, 2013 at 1:48 AM

    Still can’t believe an actual NBA team scored 58 pts.

  5. gmsingh - Jan 16, 2013 at 8:26 AM

    I love how these coaches never give the other teams credit. Drew got outcoached by one of the best defensive coaches in the history of basketball. If anything, Drew is lucky his team got a wake up call like this in the first half of the season. Hell, at least they don’t have to rely on Dwight Howard for anything.

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