The Atlanta Hawks saw their In-Season Tournament title hopes dashed in an unceremonious fashion with their 128-105 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on November 28.
In addition to dropping one game below .500 at 8-9 on the season, and missing out on the $500,000-per-player prize at stake for winning the IST, the Hawks learned the rest of their regular season fate.
The league initially announced 80 of the 82-game schedule for every respective team. The final two games were left to the In-Season Tournament standings. With the Hawks now out, their slate has been set. They will host the Brooklyn Nets on December 6 before visiting the Philadelphia 76ers on December 8.
Fans can check out the now-complete 82-game schedule below.
The Hawks have already beaten Brooklyn. But they did lose to Philadelphia at home already.
Their greater concern for the Hawks may be that they have now lost five of their last seven games, and seven of nine contests since rattling off four straight wins.
They had seven players in double figures versus the Cavs. But none of them reached the 20-point mark while Cavaliers star Donovan Mitchell paced his team’s seven 20-plus-point scorers with 40 points.
Atlanta has the fifth-best offensive rating in the league, per NBA.com. They also have the 25th-ranked defensive rating. Injuries have played a small part. Jalen Johnson suffered a fracture in his wrist in the win over the Washington Wizards and has missed the last two contests, both losses.
He has the third-best on-off efficiency differential on the team, per Cleaning The Glass.
But Johnson is just one player, and he has only missed the last two contests. The Hawks are powered by their backcourt which is where the short circuiting is occurring.
Atlanta Hawks’ skid lines up with Dejounte Murray’s slump
Over the first 10 games of the season, Dejounte Murray averaged 22.9 points on 60.9% true shooting. He also chipped in 6.0 assists, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.5 steals in that span. But, over the last seven games, Murray is averaging 14.9 points on 45.2% true shooting. His assists (4.6) and rebounds (3.9) are also both down in this stretch.
Murray has upped it to 1.7 steals per game in those seven contests. But the Hawks have gone from 6-4 in the first stretch to their 2-5 mark most recently. Perhaps coincidentally, Trae Young missed the Hawks’ 10th game of the season, appearing in each of the last seven.
Young went from 24.4 points on 53.2% true shooting over his first nine appearances to 27.1 points on 60.8% true shooting since returning to the lineup.
His usage rate has been lower since coming back. But Murray’s has dropped quite a bit.
None of this helps the idea that this partnership was never going to lead the Hawks to the heights they envisioned when they traded for the former San Antonio Spur. Their next chance to get on the same page and on the right track is on November 30 against Murray’s former squad and No. 1 overall pick Victor Wembanyama.