Atlanta Hawks: 3 Takeaways From Monday’s Loss to Denver

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Atlanta Hawks

ORLANDO, FL – DECEMBER 30: The Atlanta Hawks huddle up during the game against the Orlando Magic on December 30, 2019 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Gary Bassing/NBAE via Getty Images)

1. (Lack of) Defensive Improvement

One major thing has been to the detriment of the Atlanta Hawks in the post-Budenholzer era: defense.

Things have gotten no better, if not worse for Atlanta this season, ranking last in most defensive categories.

It’s a major reason they have 29 losses on the season, and the main reason they lost to Denver on Monday.

Teams have shot an average of 47% against the Hawks, 5th worst in the league. The Nuggets shot 51% from the field with Will Barton scoring a season-high 28, and Jokic hitting his aforementioned career high of 47.

The Nuggets, who are a much more celebrated defensive team than offensive, looked like knives to the Hawks’ warm butter throughout the game, cutting through the lackluster D for easy buckets or kick outs.

The play on that side of the floor makes it really tough for Atlanta to stay in games, essentially forcing each win to be a shootout that they eventually win.

It’s unfair to expect so much from the young, yet sometimes stellar offense, and it’s certainly not a recipe for a winning season.

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