Hawks Struggling Since All-Star Break

The Atlanta Hawks have now lost 3 straight games since the All-Star break. Don’t hit the panic button yet though.

The Atlanta Hawks have floundered after the All-Star break.

Atlanta has lost its first three games since play has resumed. All three were home games against the Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, and Golden State Warriors.

Slow starts and turnovers have been the theme in all three losses.

Against Miami, the Hawks shot merely 30 percent from the field in the first quarter. They picked it up in the second and third quarters, only to give up short runs in the fourth to give Miami the win.

Miami was shorthanded as its three best players, Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, and Hassan Whiteside, each sat out. The Hawks couldn’t stop Luol Deng, however, who managed 30 points in the Heat’s win.

Feb 22, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) dribbles past Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap (4) during the first half at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Against Milwaukee, the Hawks pushed the game to double overtime before eventually falling. They came out sluggish again, trailing 24-15 in the first quarter. Once again, they picked it up in the second quarter before trading barbs throughout the rest of the game.

Paul Millsap and Dennis Schroder led the way with 27 and 25 points, respectively. Schroder also led the team in turnovers with five.

It was more of the same against Golden State. Atlanta trailed 70-47 midway through the third quarter before storming back to take the lead 77-76. The teams went back and forth until Golden State finally pulled away to win 102-92.

Stephen Curry had a huge impact for the Warriors with 36 points and eight assists. Al Horford sparked the Hawks’ comeback with 23 points and 16 rebounds. The team as a whole, however, gave up 17 turnovers.

Three straight home losses are tough to swallow. The losses against a depleted Heat squad and the struggling Bucks were particularly tough.

The loss to Golden State, however, had many positives. The team played well on the boards. Mike Scott put up 11 boards to go alongside Horford’s 16. Their ability to stay motivated and take the lead against the Warriors is also a great sign. If Atlanta can have Golden State on the ropes after trailing by 29 in the second half, then it can certainly play competitively against the likes of Cleveland and Boston come playoff time.

Ideally, the Hawks won’t have to play Boston or Cleveland until the second round of the playoffs at the earliest. To do that, the Hawks need to have quicker starts and fewer turnovers.

Lately Atlanta has worked on addressing its rebounding issues. Horford has stepped up, which has helped Atlanta get bonus possessions that it wasn’t getting earlier this season.

The team’s improvement recently in rebounding proves that the Hawks are serious about a deep playoff run. There’s no doubt that Atlanta will address these issues and heat up as the season progresses.

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