One step forward, two steps back. It’s been the story of the season for the Atlanta Hawks.
Last night, the team enjoyed a memorable night in Madison Square Garden when they knocked off the Knicks. Tonight, they get ran out of Detroit by the second-worst team in the NBA by a score of 122-101.
Clint Capela exploded for 1 point (0-5 FG), Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot scored 3 points (1-7 FG), and Kevin Huerter scored 8 points (3-12 FG). The team shot 39.8% from the field, and 31.8% from deep.
Yes, the offense was bad, but the defense was non-existent—the Pistons well-exceeded their average 104 points per game. Jerami Grant led the Pistons with 21 points and 8 boards. Rookie Cade Cunningham once again cooked the Hawks for an efficient 17 points.
The Pistons outrebounded the Hawks 55-40 and won the battle of the paint 54-40. It was the second night of a back-to-back, but that’s no excuse. This was an unacceptable loss by a team that fancies themselves contenders.
Hawks head coach Nate McMillan blamed fatigue for tonight’s loss. “It’s always tough on a back-to-back, and this is a tough team to play on a back-to-back. They keep a lot of pressure on the ball defensively. They make you work for everything that you get.”
McMillan continued, “Being physical, touching, grabbing, bodying you, and with the switching – it forces a lot of isolation basketball. They keep pressure on your defense because they have multiple ballhandlers; they are attacking the paint.”
Trae Young concurred with his coach’s sentiment. “We had some good looks, and they just weren’t going in. You could tell some guys just had some heavy legs for sure.”
Young compared this Pistons squad to his rookie team. “They were like us like my rookie year, my second year. They don’t win very many games. We didn’t neither. But any night, you could beat somebody. I think they play with a lot of energy, and like they just play free. You play a team like that that’s free and playing hard, and they can beat anybody.”
The Hawks next game is at home on Friday night against the Golden State Warriors. We will have plenty of content for you between now and then. Stay locked into Sports Illustrated’s AllHawks.com for breaking news, highlights, and analysis.
Hawks at Pistons Photos
Check out these shots from Little Ceasar’s Arena!
Trae Young – 21 PTS, 9 AST
De’Andre Hunter – 15 PTS, 3 REB
Bogdan Bogdanovic – 13 PTS, 2 REB
Jerami Grant – 21 PTS, 8 REB
Cade Cunningham – 17 PTS, 8 REB
Kelly Olynyk – 16 PTS, 4 REB
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