Hawks Hope to Change Downward Course in 2nd Half

The Atlanta Hawks return to State Farm Arena this Friday after the NBA All-Star break, hoping to reverse the just-ended first half’s downtrend and start the second half on a winning note.

The first half didn’t go according to plan. The Hawks have been putting up huge points in most of their games thanks to great offense, only to lose them thanks to poor defense. The Hawks are 24-31 so far this season, with a .436 winning percentage. They are just one notch above the play-in line. They are 13-15 at State Farm Arena and even worse on the road, 11-16.

Can’t blame Trae Young. He ranks third in the NBA so far this season in three-point shots at 167. Teammate Bogdan Bogdanovic ranks fourth with 165 three-pointers. Young ranks 11th in the NBA for points per game, at 36.5. Other members are also putting up mostly solid offensive numbers.

As a team, defensively, the Hawks rank 24th in the NBA in blocks, 14th in steals, and 24th in defensive rebounds.

ESPN NBA analyst Zach Lowe says the Hawks are underachieving, and not just because of never-ending injuries or even this being the first season of new coach, Quin Snyder. He believes the team is boring and is poor at defending the ball.

“This is the league’s most disappointing team,” Lowe told Sports Illustrated recently. “The Hawks are going nowhere, with a dispiriting night-to-night sameness.”

There were rumors of a possible Dejounte Murray trade before the NBA’s trade deadline that never came to fruition, so the current squad remains intact, needing to get things straight before it’s too late.

Here is where the Atlanta Hawks rank in the NBA’s Eastern Conference.

Rank|Team|Wins-Losses| Winning Pct. Teams in bold qualify for the playoffs as of 2/21

  1. Boston Celtics 43-12 .782
  2. Cleveland Cavaliers 36-17 .679
  3. Milwaukee Bucks 35-21 .625
  4. New York Knicks 33-22 .600
  5. Philadelphia 76ers 32-22 .593
  6. Indiana Pacers 31-25 .554
  7. ย Miami Heat 30-35 .545
  8. Orlando Magic 30-25 .545
  9. Chicago Bulls 26-29 .473
  10. Atlanta Hawks 24-31 .436

Data credit: NBA.com

The Hawks start their second half of this season against the Toronto Raptors at home in State Farm Arena this Friday.