The Atlanta Hawks suffered their third straight loss in a 125-114 affair to the Philadelphia 76ers, dropping their record to 9-12 on the season.
Another loss would drop them further below the .500 mark than at any point last season.
“I felt good about how we competed tonight,” Snyder said via the team. “The NBA provides you times of the season where there's adversity. And, obviously, without Trey and JJ, I thought our guys really competed. And, obviously, the game didn't finish on a high level for us. … I feel like the score is indicative of how hard we played throughout portions of the game.”
Atlanta was already without starting forward Jalen Johnson, who has now missed the last six games with a fractured wrist. The Hawks are 1-5 in that span. But Hawks star Trae Young also sat out with an illness.
The Hawks are now 1-1 this season when Young sits. But they showed fight, overcoming a 14-point first-half deficit to take the lead in the fourth quarter.
“We got some great efforts from our bench as well,” Snyder said.
It was a scoring drought that lasted nearly five minutes to end the game that did the Hawks in against the 76ers. A Clint Capela free throw gave the Hawks a 109-106 lead with 5:03 to go, and it was a five-foot jump shot from the veteran big man that cut the deficit to 10 points at 121-111. This was the second game in a row the Hawks battled back, led, and fell short.
“I think the positive part of that … is the way we did compete throughout the game,” Snyder said. “It's not like we weren't still competing. We just didn't execute, and that's something we've got to continue to dig in and work on. Particularly when we don't have certain guys.”
“We have to adjust a little bit,” Snyder said. “And we didn't have success late.”
Hawks' backcourt steps up without Trae Young
In Young’s absence, Dejounte Murray was one of three players with at least 20 points, adding nine assists a la his missing teammate. The Hawks also got a team-high 24 points from De’Andre Hunter and 20 points from fill-in starter Bogdan Bogdanovic. The trio combined for 20 of the Hawks’ 55 rebounds.
“We talked about you have to have kind of the ‘next man up’ mentality when you're down guys,” Snyder said. “And again I think the litmus test there is just you're competing, and it's not always going to be perfect. But we had that tonight.”
Snyder was effusive with praise for veteran Patty Mills whose last action came against the Washington Wizards on November 25, the same game in which Johnson was injured.
Mills checked a lot of boxes with three points, two assists, one block, one board, and one steal.
“I think that's who he's been as far as the way that he plays,” Snyder said. “He puts a stamp on the game with his defense with his activity his energy, his voice. … It's the epitome of ‘stay ready’... It's not easy to play against Patrick Beverly pressuring you 90 ft. But that's what Patty's done.”
The 15th-year veteran, Mills, proved he still has plenty left in the tank this past summer during an impressive run in the 2023 FIBA World Cup for Australia. His efforts even drew praise from Young.
“You just have tremendous respect for him as a player,” Snyder said. “It also is reflective of I think who he is as a person and who he is as a teammate.”
Snyder credited the 76ers for the ability to pressure on. The Hawks finished minus-3 in the turnover margin. But they were also called for nine more fouls than the Sixers in this one. If there is one thing they should aim to clean up, it might be that.