Hawks emerge from All-Star break a sloppy and miserable mess

ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 19: Dennis Schroder #17 of the Atlanta Hawks reacts after drawing a foul from Beno Udrih #19 of the Miami Heat at Philips Arena on February 19, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

This picture of Dennis Schroder on the floor and looking lost accurately depicts what the Hawks looked like for most of Friday night’s game against Miami. (Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images)

The Hawks emerged from the All-Star break Friday night, looking for a sign that the hiccups over the first four months of their season was some sort of aberration.

Instead, they got confirmation. And borderline humiliation.

They lost at home to the Miami Heat 115-111 Friday night. A close loss to Miami might not seem like such an embarrassment, given the Heat (30-24, .556) is now two percentage points better than the fifth-place Hawks (31-25, .554) in the Eastern Conference standings. But it was an inexcusable performance and result considering the Heat was missing their top three scorers: Dwyane Wade (injured), Chris Bosh (injured) and center Hassan Whiteside (suspended).

Luol Deng scored a season-high 30 points. Josh McRoberts went for 19. That’s a felony in 37 starts.

The Hawks allowed the Miami remnants (the team dressed nine players) to shoot 50 percent, while committing 21 turnovers.

So. Looking forward to the playoffs?

When asked whether the All-Star break rust could have contributed to the sloppiness, coach Mike Budenholzer said, “They (Miami) are coming off the same break. They should have the same rust.”

And this from Kyle Korver: “We want to do the right thing. But we’ve got to have more fire in us on a nightly basis.”

When a team is 56 games into the season and is still searching for reasons why it doesn’t play with “fire” on a nightly basis, that’s a problem.

I have some theories about this which I’ll explore in a full column on MyAJC.com Saturday (Sunday print).

Do I believe one game after the All-Star break confirms the Hawks are doomed? No. But it’s potentially ugly foreshadowing. A performance like this should elevate the level of concern, regardless of how many times Budenholzer and players want to reference the team’s character.

The Hawks chose not to make a major move at the trade deadline that would involve one of their core players. I wrote, and believe that was the correct decision. But by doing so, coach and Budenholzer is showing enormous confidence in his roster. What happened Friday night didn’t make him look good.

FOR A FULL COLUMN on the Hawks, go to this link on MyAJC.com

Recent ramblings from the Digital Jukebox

Reader Comments 0

11 comments
Big Wally
Big Wally

This is what happens when you succumb to the PC police, you make a Coach with no front office experience, President of Basketball................and as a result we acquire a crippled Splitter, a lazy THjr,  and a washed up Hinrich.  Happy now Schultz?

Big Wally
Big Wally

Schultz you were leading the band wagon to get rid of Ferry.  You are just as guilty as anyone.  

Edgar
Edgar

Say whatever you want. The loss of Danny Ferry hurt the the Hawks.

slydawg
slydawg

How so?

Is not this the same roster, minus Demarre Carroll, that Danny Ferry put together?

What possible changes could Ferry have made before summer of 2016?

Just asking all these Ferry supporters to support your arguement. It's not as if the Hawks have not been in this same mediocre position wver since Dominique was traded.

atlanta spirit
atlanta spirit

Talent wise the Hawks are a 6th seed.  Next year an 8th seed.  Lucky we have such great sports writers who love mediocrity.  Hey, at least the writer is not telling the Falcons to sign Michael Sam like he sounded off on last year.

MaxMose
MaxMose

ATL needs to tank it the rest of the year to get in the draft lottery and hopefully land the #1 or 2 pick to get a superstar. Otherwise, more of the same mediocrity next year--it never changes around here.

bigern73
bigern73

@JeffSchultzAJC a lot of stop and pop last night and this year for that matter. Isn't that insubordination towards Bud and his system?

dirtybird33
dirtybird33

Should've traded Horford and Dominique for Danny Ferry. You'll never do anything Hawks as long as you let the Dominique (who never accomplished ANYTHING) ego manipulate and control the organization. What a joke! You getting what you deserve with these clowns.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@dadofseven 

Whatever negative things he's doing with the Hawks absolutely pale in comparison with his god-awful broadcasting skills.

slydawg
slydawg

I have a theory of what the problem is:

Coach Bud himself

Huh? He has taken this team mix of overachievers and try hards as far as he can take them, ala the Falcons.... He has worked them hard and now the message has gotten stale. Hence, the lack of "fire." How else does a team, the exact same team minus one player, lack title aspirations from the heart, especially after getting to the conference championship just last year, explain their performance this season.

I think some of that "dog" attitude left with Carroll, but Bazemore has performed well enough to fill at least some of the defensive gaps and some scoring. Korver has not been a threat since March of 2014. Horford and Teague were never transcendent talents in the first place.

I think this team is either headed for a blow up or some summertime sign and trades.

Solution: I stated the problem was the coach, but the answer is to change the players. Coach Bud needs his own team. Remember, the 2 anchors, Teague and Horford, were here before Ferry.

P.S. Why not play Eddy Tavares more and see if he can play NBA Basketball at all?