The Atlanta Hawks have struggled to look like a playoff team coming off the all-star break.
Coming out of the all-star break the Hawks had to be feeling good with the addition of Ersan Ilyasova. They had added a great piece and were in a position to make a push for the fourth seed in the Eastern conference.
Two games later the Hawks have looked flat and lost back to back games against the Heat and the Orlando Magic. Perhaps the last loss was the most embarrassing losing to a Magic team that sits only ahead of the Nets in a weak East.
Tonight the Hawks will have a chance to make a statement against the 2nd place Boston Celtics. Winning against the Celtics would help the Hawks head back in the right direction and stop the early tail spin they appear to be in coming out of the break.
Losing to teams with bad records hurts the Hawks even more when you consider that in the next five games they will play the Celtics, Warriors, and Cavaliers that is a tough slate for any team. Much less a team that is struggling to score consistently. The Hawks have benefited from playing team ball over the last few seasons not having one guy that many teams focus on. It is time for the Hawks to change strategies as they sit 8.5 games out of first in the East and 2.5 games out of the 4th seed.
While this may seem reactionary based on two games the Hawks have proven time and time again this season that they are not the same team that played so well as a team in years past. This team has two of the more talented players in the East in Dwight Howard and Paul Millsap. It is time to adopt a new strategy of allowing your best players to run the offense with more responsibility than they have now.
While it may not be the traditional way to run their (or any) NBA offense a change is needed if the Hawks want to have a legitimate chance to advance past the first round or even make this year’s playoffs. Dennis Schröder is a talented player but has proven to be inconsistent and prone to key turnovers far to often to continue to use him the way the Hawks have this season.
The Hawk’s team strategy of passing the ball two or three times and then forcing a shot has become predictable for the rest of the NBA. It is time for the Hawks to adopt a new strategy and adapt if they hope to turn their season around and challenge the top teams in the East.