The Hawks aren’t just bad.
They’re lose-by-23-to-the-Knicks bad.
Last night’s setback in New York has awakened some demons.
Frustration in the locker room has been building for some time as teammates have complained to each other about selfishness, not putting in the necessary work to turn things around and players not being held accountable, sources told Yahoo Sports.
Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce is not on the hot seat, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
But there is work that needs to be done to strengthen the connection with a few significant players, sources said.
It’s hard to believe this doesn’t center on Trae Young, who reportedly showed his frustration in an “emotional locker room scene” then got told by a Hawks official that roster help was incoming.
Young is in the midst of a breakout year. He is a star.
But he also plays awful defense and gets too sloppy with the ball. He contributes to Atlanta’s losing.
It’s fine for a 21-year-old not to have down all the finer points of winning basketball. Young is still right on track. But I can see how it’d be grating if Young is blaming everyone else for the Hawks’ struggles. He’s culpable, too.
There’s usually grumbling on losing teams. When it leaks into the public, it has reached another level. That’s where Atlanta is.
John Collins returning from his suspension will help. But he’s also a young player still learning how to translate his ability into winning. So are many Hawks.
This losing is a natural consequence of Atlanta’s rebuild. Playoff expectations for this season were misplaced. It will take the Hawks time to grow into that level.
In the meantime, they must weather this storm.Follow @danfeldmannba