TOUGH TIMES DON’T LAST, TOUGH PEOPLE DO
After a tough time in Miami and losing a season high four games in a row, this is the time for the team and fans to be tough. Mired in the longest losing streak of the year, finger pointing and the blame game could easily begin for players and fans but won’t solve the issues surrounding the team at this juncture.
While there is a difference between losing games and being beaten, the issue for the Hawks at this point is that they are having both happen to them. The first three games of the rocky road saw the Hawks get up big, but fail to close the deal in the final period of play. In Miami it was over after getting down 25 in the first half, which is most atypical of the team this season.
Things are not uncorrectable, but the team needs to avoid bad habits. The ghosts of bad games past have shown up too much and do not need to fester. Standing around, too much one on one play, missing wide open shots, not running the floor and giving up easy buckets are the symptoms which need to be inoculated to cure this losing cold
The Hawks that got out to a 19-6 start, destroyed teams in the fourth quarter, ran the floor and owned the paint while putting up 100 points seemingly every night. Now the fast break points have dwindled, the team is not winning the battle in the post, and scoring has come down.
With all that being said it is time to get back to what worked early, not play the blame game and get back to the team mantra this year: “DEFEND, REBOUND AND RUN” which is the solution to ending this streak.
GETTING BACK TO BASICS
The Hawks simply have not been able to score enough to put teams away. Throwing up 100 point games came effortlessly up until this point and now during the losing streak, scoring has gone down to 92 points per contest. Much of that can be corrected by finishing up strongly in the fourth quarter, making free throws and attacking the basket.
NOT SHOOTING THE LIGHTS OUT
There have been plenty of opportunities for the Hawks to snap their streak but have basically shot themselves out of games.
-Against Cleveland it was going nearly nine minutes without a bucket then blowing a 17 point lead.
-Against the Knicks it was shooting under 40 percent in the fourth quarter(and Nate Robinson going Teen Wolf , my goodness).
-Against the Heat it was shooting into a 25 point deficit in early in the game and not being able to recover.
Go to the basket!
Streak Stats not in favor of the Hawks
Outscored 188-154in second chance points
Outscored 50-24 in fast break points
Outscored 113-71 in the fourth quarter and overtime
THE BOTTOM LINE
The Hawks have been very good care takers of the ball, leading the league with the fewest turnovers per game so they are not giving many possessions away. Cleary the execution and ball movement have been major factors but there is no need to panic. This team is still 12-4 at home and is a top ten team in the league (7th) on the road. It is not always easy and losing streaks come to all teams. This is the time to rally around the birds and be tough together.