The Atlanta Hawks suffered a major loss at home to the Detroit Pistons on Friday night. Will Coach Budenholzer make changes to the lineup in the near future?
The Atlanta Hawks took a 121-85 L to the Detroit Pistons Friday night at Phillips Arena, giving the Hawks their fifth straight loss, including seven of their last eight games. The Atlanta Hawks are now currently 10-10, ranking 9th in the Eastern Conference. Coach Mike Budenholzer is growing tired of the results, and is ready to “look at everything.”
Could Coach Bud start with the starting lineup? On Friday night, he swapped out all five starters late in the second half in an effort to “pick it up a little bit.” One Hawks starter who definitely could’ve used a pick me up on Friday night was Atlanta native Dwight Howard, who had his worst game since becoming a Hawk, scoring just two points and six rebounds.
"Howard said one of the adjustments the Hawks must make going forward is how teams defend him in the pick-and-roll.“They are really forcing us to do different things out of the pick-and-roll,” Howard said. “For myself, teams are sending three or four bodies at me when I roll to the basket and making sure I don’t get those easy buckets. They are forcing our guards to have to make plays. It’s a little adjustment that we have to make.”"
So how exactly did the Hawks get to this point? The season was initially off to a great start. In 11 games, the Hawks were 9-2. They also boasted a rare 110-106 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. The team’s momentum has appeared to have shifted starting in the month of November, with eight of their 10 losses occurring since then.
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Despite their recent performances, the Atlanta Hawks are remaining positive. According to Howard, “We’ve got to stay positive. We can’t make excuses. Stay together. Don’t put our heads down and things will change. This little thing we are going through now, even though we don’t want to, I think it’s best we are going through it now and not at the end of the season. All the things we need to clean up, offensively and defensively, are being exposed right now. It gives us time to work on it. So come playoff time and later on in the season, we’ll have all that down pat. The best thing we can do now is not hold our heads, keep positive, speak life into the situation and keep pushing.”
Tim Hardaway Jr. also suggested that the team’s most important priority should be to “play for the city and make sure they have our backs.” Additionally, Kyle Korver offered a simple and forward explanation, saying, “Honestly, I think we need some time in the gym to work on ourselves.”
Will fans see changes to the starting five on Saturday night? The Atlanta Hawks will head to Air Canada Centre to take on the 13-6 Toronto Raptors. Catch the game at 7:30pm EST on FOX Sports Southeast.