Miami spanks (115-91), Atlanta hasn’t won at home since November 23, 2021

What if a homecoming helped the Hawks get back into shape? Opposed to the Heat last night in the Atlanta arena, Trae Young’s friends had the opportunity to erase their recent poor performance by dismissing a Miami team never easy to play. The result is clear: defeat 91 to 115, the 9th in a row at home. The Hawks’ downfall doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.

It is that we come to wonder if the adventure of last spring was really a waking dream.

The phrase was attached to the hearts of Atlanta fans throughout the summer and from the start of the season, but it is now present in all discussions around the NBA. There are the Hawks fans who shake their heads and wonder what’s going on, and there are the outside observers who are rubbing their heads too. But who are these players playing in Atlanta right now? After a complicated roadtrip, which saw Nate McMillan leave his squad for Covid, Clint Capela get injured and the Georgia players lose 5 of their 7 away games, the idea was to come home with better intentions. And with some new faces, too, as McMillan redirected his team again and De’Andre Hunter made his big comeback after several weeks of depressing his team’s play. Knowing that in front, the Heat had to do without Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler, there was a real shot to play. And there was an urgency all the greater since, in the media, the Hawks were in the sauce with numerous reports highlighting the dissatisfaction of the players within the group, and in addition the State Farm Arena had not seen a victory since last November 23. Yes yes, you read that right, November 23, 2021, almost two months without a single victory at home. Since Thanksgiving? Bogdan Bogdanovic and his troops had won all their away matches, which makes us wonder if the silence in their room is not ultimately too heavy. More seriously, by dint of sighing at a press conference and announcing that we will have to do better, it had to be resumed at one time or another, right?

Well no.

Let us first of all give back to Caesar what belongs to him, and in this case to Erik Spoelstra what is due to him. More than well placed in the race for Coach of the Year, the Heat coach once again offered a lesson in keeping his men motivated whatever the circumstances, and empowering young people filled with energy. Caleb Martin and Omer Yurtseven therefore elbowed in a very poor Atlanta racquet, admirably accompanying Tyler Herro’s incandescent taf in the first period. Between murderous penetrations, mid-distance shots and huge blocks on the board, Jack Harlow’s favorite crack was quite simply the best player on the field… and by far. If the Heat could count on its king from the bench, it is especially in the third quarter that the visitors created the distance by sticking a monumental run out of the locker room. Quite simply, the sign of a ready group is the perfect opposite to the opposite. Because while Gabe Vincent and company made sure that Atlanta remained 10-15 points behind, the Hawks dragged their feet and sank into the same problems as lately. Total dependence on a well-defended and therefore ineffective Trae Young (4/15 shooting, 4 stray bullets), defensive largesse with big problems inside and to close on shooters, and above all that the mental solidity of ‘a foldable deckchair. It’s simple: just put a basto on this Atlanta team for it to lose its means, and not know how to respond. This same team, which showed up in Philadelphia and was 25 points behind to end up winning, now unable to withstand the shock and the opposition imposed. Terrible to see, and to see, that this group is no longer there at all with abandoned leadership. The first cry of warning had come from GM Travis Schlenk, who recently indicated that it might not be such a good idea to extend all the players, the sequel was a succession of shaking heads and fingers discreetly pointed right to left between the locker room frames. An absolute mess, and which does not suggest anything good a few weeks before the trade deadline.

Because yes, the management of Atlanta will be able to find someone who will recover Danilo Gallinari or Cam Reddish to name a few, but will it be enough to revive this team? Will we have to count on a new boost internally for the players to recover, like last year when Lloyd Pierce was sacked in early March? Too late is too late, and by dint of losing streak the Hawks will not be able to afford such luxury as the All-Star Break approaches. What is certain is that the various absences hurt at the moment and that, when the players are present, the efforts are not there. All we advise you to do is grab your popcorn and watch the Atlanta Circus, because there will only be two directions for the rest of the season: either it implodes and major transfers go all over the place. the senses (John Collins included), or it straightens up and we shake our heads as much as we do right now at the Hawks’ inability to make us understand what’s going on.

Already an Atlanta fan is a hassle, imagine what it’s like to have year-round tickets there this season. A 9th home defeat in a row, players who check their pumps and opponents perfectly aware that they can have fun against them: the Hawks are on the brink. It’s up to Travis Schlenk to act, before it’s too late.

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