The Atlanta Hawks (14-20) suffered a blowout loss to the Indiana Pacers in the wake of a potentially disturbing report for the locker room. Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer reported that all but Trae Young and Jalen Johnson are on the trade block on January 5, which Marc Stein of the Stein Line echoed.
The Hawks then went on to suffer a 150-116 loss to the Indiana Pacers. But Head Coach Quin Snyder declined to address whether or not those rumors had an impact on the players’ performance in the contest.
“I really like our team,” Snyder said via the team on January 5. “There's always chatter, and rumors, and things like that. And like I said, I'm not going to comment on those things.”
To be clear, that is neither a confirmation nor a denial. Though it does seem to suggest they are used to it at this point.
Snyder instead addressed the game as an off-night.
“Sometimes there's games you don't play well, and we didn't. I don't know that we did anything at the level that we needed to to win against these guys on the road. They're, obviously, playing well and did a lot of things that made it hard on us. But we didn't have it tonight.”
He pushed back when asked if it was a matter of players’ effort. But he also described a lack of hustle from his team in key phases.
“I always hesitate to talk about lack of effort. We need to run back harder,” Snyder said. “That's something that we know and that we've got to clean up. … I think the biggest thing for us is the next game in front of us. … We need to come out with more focus and execute better on both ends of the floor. That was missing tonight.”
The Hawks’ biggest lead was six points, and it came in the first quarter.
They never led after roughly the seven-minute mark in the frame, and they saw the Pacers’ lead grow as large as 38 points. The loss snapped their two-game win streak and gave them five losses in their last seven games.
Quin Snyder: Hawks 'need to pick each other up' more
Snyder did credit the team for uplifting one another when they hit rough patches, something that is surely necessary in their current situation.
The specific instance was Trae Young taking a foul so an injured Bogdan Bogdanovic could exit.
“I think our team, over the course of the year, has been [unselfish]. and whether it's Trae, or DJ, or Clint picks Trae up, Trae picks Clint up, and DJ picks up [Bogdan Bogdanovic] and Saddiq [Bey] picks up [Jalen Johnson]. We need to pick each other up during the course of the game even more, not just in dead-ball situations.”
Bogdanovic had taken a shoulder to the face in a scrum under the basket. He would remain in the game, showcasing the kind of resilience the Hawks’ head coach expects to see next time out.
“I think our guys have character and we'll bounce back okay.”