Atlanta Hawks: ‘Good’ teams don’t take ugly home Ls like this

Last night on Twitter during the game and in the post-game blog I mentioned that good teams just don’t take home beatdowns on the regular like the Hawks.

Shoot, remember a few days ago when Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak was talking about shaking up his roster?. That was after the Lakers took a 16-point home loss . . . to the Celtics:

“I try to be as objective as possible, but I’m concerned that our performance is not living up to our talent level,” Kupchak said at the time. “Our record is certainly OK. But we’ve lost a bunch of home games. We’ve lost a couple of big games at home. And to me, those are red flags.”

The red flags are waving for the Hawks after yet another white-flag surrender at Philips. Elias Sports Bureau provides the dirty details (second item, though let the “crowning achievement” in the lead headline serve as a bitterly sarcastic taunt of the Hawks):

There have been three games this season in which the home team lost by at least 30 points, and the Atlanta Hawks have been on the short end of the scoreboard in two of those games.

The Hawks’ 34-point loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday (117-83) is the second-worst home defeat in the NBA this season, trailing only the 41-point defeat Atlanta had against the New Orleans Hornets on Jan. 21 (100-59). The only other team to lose a home game by at least 30 points this season is the Charlotte Bobcats, 93-62 to the Boston Celtics on Dec. 11. . . .

At 33-19, Atlanta has the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference. Should the Hawks finish the season at least 10 games above .500, the Elias Sports Bureau says they would join one other such team in NBA history to lose two home games by at least 30 points. The 1969-70 Baltimore Bullets had 30-point home losses to the Suns and Knicks, yet finished the season 50-32.

Remember, too, there could be another couple historically ugly Ls for the Hawks if not for circumstance and NBA decorum.

The Bucks called off the dogs after they took a 29-point lead into the fourth quarter. They were up by 26 with 7:51 to play when a JC2-led run in garbage time prevented another possible 30-point L. Instead, the final losing margin was a normal-looking 108-91.

The Celtics were up 85-56 near the end of the third quarter when KG and Co. took a seat. Boston led by 31 with 4:31 to play (97-66) and by 29 with 3:31 to go (99-70). Twin and Josh Powell scored for the Hawks and the Celtics failed to score on their last eight possessions. So Atlanta fell 99-76, still ugly but not outrageously so.

As it stands, the Hawks have four double-digit losses at home, all by at least 17 points. The three teams above them in the standings have just two such losses combined among their 13 home Ls: Miami’s 93-77 defeat to Indiana and Chicago’s 107-78 loss to Orlando. And those games were back on Nov. 22 and Dec. 1, respectively, while two of the Hawks’ shellackings have come in the last 18 days. Even Orlando, which has its own issues at home, has just two double-digit Ls there: 104-94 vs. Utah on Nov. 10 and 123-101 to San Antonio on Dec. 23.

So the next time the Hawks say something along the lines of “These things happen” (and we know they will), the retort should be: “No, they don’t. Not to ‘good’ teams.”

Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat

180 comments Add your comment


February 9th, 2011
10:44 am


February 9th, 2011
10:48 am

finally! can’t believe it….can we get some trade rumors swirling or something? Carmelo for Bynum? Hawks can do better than that…come on Sund

It was not a bad pick

February 9th, 2011
10:48 am


Does Sund approve of Drew not playing a true center 85% of the game, and not running more plays for Marvin? the Hawks are in desperate need of a Coach..Marvin get your agent on the phone!!!

ant banks

February 9th, 2011
10:54 am

couple this with the 25 pts per game losses to the magic in the playoffs last year.


February 9th, 2011
10:56 am

Marvin would get his agent on the phone if he actually took Marvin’s call. @” It was not a bad pick” im 100% sure you are either Marvin or his momma because you are the only person on earth who actually thinks it was not a bad pick, when the lineup change takes or your son will be on if not under the bench where you belong.


February 9th, 2011
10:57 am

I’m also tired of the Hawks saying “We just have to keep working.” That’s why people don’t come to support they are TIRED OF THE EXCUSES HAWKS. Stop talking about it and be about it.

Larry Sund

February 9th, 2011
10:57 am

But, MC, you need to be patient. The team is young. They’re installing a new offense. We can’t make knee-jerk decisions about our sacrosanct core. We should deliberate some more. Things like this happen over an 82 game season.

Mike Jay

February 9th, 2011
10:57 am

Ownership went through the motions this offseason and the players are following their lead. I find the ho hum attitude of the players and coaches after these losses even more disturbing. Go read soem of the quotes and you wil lsee things like “we just got to put this loss behind us”, “Sometimes these things happen”. Those were after the most recen beat down. At least the quotes after last nights embaressment were a bit better but words are easy.


February 9th, 2011
11:00 am

get a big man and let joe go


February 9th, 2011
11:01 am

Amen on this should not happen to any team with pride and determination. We just don’t care. These losses will haunt us come seeding time. If we had those 3-5 games back we’d be atop the East. Instead we’ll most likely lose home court once March is done.


February 9th, 2011
11:02 am

This team could be really good with a well-planned trade right about now.


February 9th, 2011
11:06 am

It starts from the top. Obviously the top brass could care less or you would hear more rumblings. You cant have a company as shaky as the Atlanta Spirit running a team that you expect to do well. They cant get their act together but somehow the Hawks and Thrashers are expected to succeed?

If we sell the team to someone who gives a flying eff, then maybe it would create a top to bottom demeanor where 30 point loss at home are unacceptable. If no one holds anyone accountable, then you will continue to have angry fans who increasingly “give up” on being a Hawks fan and move to greener pastures.

People are fans of teams for more than just one player, or the city, etc. Fans enjoy the respect franchises get from top to bottom. Look at the Patriots or the Celtics…they are respected in every facet. The Hawks have good players but there isnt a leader of men anywhere in the Atlanta Spirit or the Hawks. Its time to stop being nice and PC, and start rolling heads.

Section 303

February 9th, 2011
11:08 am


That’s great stuff. Thanks for writing this and providing the numbers.

I love Kupchak’s reaction to that Bucks loss by the Lakers. There’s none of the poo-poo bullsh#t we hear from Sund (when we actually hear from Sund)/ASG. Losses like we’ve seen at home to Bucks, C’s, Hornets, and ‘6ers are unacceptable. If the players don’t realize that, than changes need to be made.

Funny…the GM of a team coming off 3-straight Finals was feeling urgency over an ugly home loss. Our, GM/ownership, coming off quitting in the 2nd round and getting booed off their home floor, thinks everything is A-OK after getting their brains beat in four times at home.

Winning organization vs a candy a$$ organization.


February 9th, 2011
11:10 am

It’s hard to really buy into this team with performances like this one, and it’s not about getting beat it’s about showing up and putting forth effort. It’s almost impossible (without trying) to get down by 30 befort halftime (yet it’s happened twice to this team at home).

It’s almost a foregone conclusion that the Hawks will make the playoffs, it’s the apathetic performances and eager willingness to quit that gives this team’s fan base no hope (for anything other than a first or second round debacle).


February 9th, 2011
11:11 am

Both of those 30+ point losses at home have come without Horford in the lineup. He is clearly the leader of the team and everyone in their so called “core” is expendable.


February 9th, 2011
11:13 am




Astro Joe

February 9th, 2011
11:15 am

MC, you do know that if the Hawks go 5-2 on the road trip, that Sund will grant you an interview to declare “all is well, the season is a marathon with peaks and valleys, the core is gelling with a new coach, yada, yada, yada”, right? And if they go 3-4, then you can continue to get “lack of energy” quotes from the usual suspects while Sund quietly scouts one-dimensional players with a high upside and no ability to make an immediate impact on this team (unlike Darren Collison, Dajuan Blair or Landry Fields).


February 9th, 2011
11:18 am






Nobody important

February 9th, 2011
11:20 am

How about we trade Jamaal for Dalembert? Two expiring contracts. Force Drew to play JC2 and Teague. They will make up for JC’s points off the bench. They both need on court time to develop and we need a big man. Win-win.


February 9th, 2011
11:23 am

The Hawks play when they feel like it… Josh Smith could be one of the best in the league if not for that 5 cent head… The Hawks are the embodiment of the entire league… They think they are WAY too important to the world…

Josh Smildress

February 9th, 2011
11:27 am

Serious question. Where has rick sund been? How come he doesn’t comment on stuff like this? Absentee owners. Absentee gm. Absentee team. Your Atlanta Hawks


February 9th, 2011
11:31 am

Has Joe once in the past 6 years ever shown anger or been upset after a loss?

just SHOOT me

February 9th, 2011
11:35 am

30+ point loss to the 76′ers at home? I mean at least show up and play in front of your home crowd. They were done before the game ever started. I just don’t think they take their coach seriously. I don’t think the coach is prepared to handle these types of events. Sure, it’s just one game. It sure is embarassing for me. It’ll be even more embarassing getting blown out each home game during the playoffs…

On a side note: Sund and the Hawks won’t make any trades to “shake things up”. Well maybe Josh Powell for Priest Lauderdale. Besides, no true NBA stars want to play in Atlanta. Why would they?

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Bret LaGree, Michael Cunningham. Michael Cunningham said: Atlanta Hawks: ‘Good’ teams don’t take ugly home Ls like this [...]

Najeh Davenpoop

February 9th, 2011
11:37 am

Someone should print out copies of this blog post and paste it all over the Hawks locker room.

Worldwide Clyde

February 9th, 2011
11:39 am


We have been down this road too many times with the Hawks but what has happened. Nothing. After this loss we will go right back to the same ole lineup and the same ole plays that got us blown out by 30 at home. Quit ignoring the problems Sund and Drew and make some changes.

Double Zero Eight

February 9th, 2011
11:40 am

The fans take the losses harder than the players and ASG.
All Sund wants is for the team to be competitive. He knows
the team is incapable of winning the EC. If the team gets
lucky and happens to make it to the conference finals,
Sund and ASG will act as if the Hawks won the NBA

The players and Sund will go home to their mansions
and gated commuinities, and quickly forget about their
quick exit from the playoffs. We will be left to contemplate
missed opportunities and what ” could have been” if a
timely key trade had been made.

ASG has too many owners. I miss the days when Ted Turner
owned the team, and was willing to invest the money needed
to make timely improvements. I wish that car dealer that bid
against ASG had been awarded the franchise.

SWAT Native

February 9th, 2011
11:42 am

These Hawks are a funny team. They’ve already won 17 games on the road before the all-star break, which should be a sign of more maturity. But, at the same time, they are not as tough at home as they used to be, and losses like last night are hard to explain. I had the misfortune of being at both the Bucks and Celtics blowouts. No way to build a fan base.

Double Zero Eight

February 9th, 2011
11:43 am

Spelled “communities” incorrectly in paragraph two of previous post.


February 9th, 2011
11:45 am


I’m not sure what it is that has you believing Marvin has everything you advertise him to have. If he does have the kind of game that you claim he has, which is the game a legit #2 draft pick (IE – Kevin Durant) has, then he wouldn’t resort to taking the back seat, as he tends to do. He wouldn’t be looking to pass everytime he touches the ball. He’d look to initiate his own offense, whether the play is drawn up for him or not.

To suggest that Marvin Williams wasn’t a bad pick at this point is ludicrous. He was a bad pick. Marvin’s had every opportunity to prove himself since the day he got here. He didn’t rot on the bench like most of our rookies nowadays tend to do. He’s been playing meaningful minutes for much of his career, and he’s yet to show anybody that he was worth the pick (aside from you at least).

It makes no difference to me if plays are drawn up for you or not. If he was worth the pick, he should be the face of this franchise. At the very least, he should be moving in that direction. He’s yet to do either, and it’s hard for anybody to buy that it’s because our coaches don’t “draw up enough plays for him”. Fact is, he’s an inconsistent role player who will occasionally be good for a good game.

He’s had enough time. It’s not as if he’s been rotting on the bench unable to showcase his stuff. He’s had a handful of opportunities, and point blank, hasn’t lived up to a #2 pick.

Chris Paul and Derron Williams will always be thrown into the conversation with Marvin Williams. Both of those guys are the face of their franchises. Marvin Williams is not.

Al Horford came into the league after Marvin Williams, and people can see him working his way into a “face of the franchise” type of player.

Marvin has to demand more plays be drawn up for him with his play. You make it sound as if the coaches are holding him back. That’s not the case. Al Horford gets plays called for himself because he’s shown he can handle himself on the court. Marvin hasn’t. If anything, Marvin is holding himself back, which I still don’t buy. I just don’t think he’s capable of being the player you want him to be.


February 9th, 2011
11:47 am

Hawks fans are the most fair weather fans in the world, or should I say Atlanta fans? We still have a good record, but just had a crappy game..relax. It pisses me off to see everyone always jump on Josh Smith when the Hawks loose, TRADE JOSH TRADE JOSH TRADE JOSH. The man is having a good year, should have been a all-star…relax. Given, they have holes…and are not going to win a championship…but its still better than blowing up the team…..remember when we blew up the team..>Mutumbo-Laettner-steve smith-blacklock? We need to add pieces, without blowing up the roster. All that being said, speaking logically, they need to address the center and pg position in the near future, hopefully sooner than later. Horford playing PF would make this team much better, and having a PG to run the offense…would really make Joe, Josh, and Horford a legit team. Marvin and Bibby gotta go, that makes a lot more sense.

Matt the Brave

February 9th, 2011
11:50 am

Watched about five minutes of this game and saw that it was going to be awful. I’m usually not that much of a fair-weather fan, but that was painful last night. The key I think was that Al was out, but it’s no excuse. Also, is it just me, or do some of our players look really tired right now? Couldn’t be that they have literally played close to 3 seasons worth of all-game basketball? I mean, it seems that Larry Drew is using up guys as much as Woodson did.

everybody in metro Atlanta not on the Atlanta Spirit payroll

February 9th, 2011
11:52 am

Hey Atlanta Spirit,

Please sell the teams.

everybody in metro Atlanta not on your payroll


February 9th, 2011
11:53 am

How about we trade Sund and ASG for the Dream’s owner and personnel guru ?


February 9th, 2011
11:53 am

Hawks fans aren’t ardent supporters because the players disrespect the game on a regular basis.


February 9th, 2011
11:55 am

So true….great article.

Double Zero Eight

February 9th, 2011
11:58 am

42 years in Atlanta and the Hawks have never even
been to the “big dance”. That is a long time. It
took the Braves 30 years to make it to the
World Series, and the Falcons 32 years to make
it to the Super Bowl.


February 9th, 2011
11:59 am

And MC,

Great stuff on your blog write-up.

That’s hitting the nail on the head. Point blank, ‘good teams’ don’t suffer these types of losses, especially not as often as the Hawks tend to.

Yet another reason why I could care less if they decided to blow this team up.

This city is desperate for a legitimate championship contender. We got behind the Falcons, and although they disappointed this postseason, it’s clear they’re headed in the right direction, and I think they’ll work themselves into a perennial contender.

The Hawks on the other hand, are not. They seem to be stuck in the same mess they’ve been stuck in for 2-3 seasons now. We’ve had the same personnel look for 2-3 seasons now too. The only real change we’ve seen personnel wise was the J.Crawford deal. People were excited about him when he got here, but truthfully, for me, that’s worn off now. We’ve seen what this teams ceiling is, and it isn’t good enough to get where this city wants them to be.

I’ve said a couple of times, this ownership group makes it impossible for anybody to have faith in this organization. The owners are set on letting this core mature, but when you see other teams around the league with the same type of youthful talent the Hawks have at either the same level as the Hawks or even better (OKC – Chicago), patience is hard to preach. Fans wonder exactly how good this core group is supposed to be, because it’s not as if they’re all fresh into the league. OKC has a younger “core” than the Hawks, and they’re clearly on the rise. Are the Hawks on the rise? Or have they maxed out? It comes off as if these bum owners are playin’ us, which they are. Until the owners dedicate themselves to the process of getting this team beyond what we’ve come to expect of them, this team will stay as is.

If the owners don’t care, why should we? Just a big waste of time.


February 9th, 2011
12:02 pm

Why do you still believe the Atlanta Hawks are a good team????? They are not..Wait till they hit this “circus” west coast trip as MC put it yesterday…Hold on Fans, stay tuned, MORE BEAT downs are coming……………………………….Yawn

SUNDSCRUB= He loves his “core” guys…


February 9th, 2011
12:04 pm

^^ I too had to turn it off for my own sanity after the end of the 1st Q.
I periodically checked in but did not like what I Saw.

NBA sux

February 9th, 2011
12:06 pm

Yayyyyyy. The Hawks are in fourth!

The fact is this team can’t even compete with the top 3. That would require the margin of defeat under 10 points.

Trade everyone but Horford and acquire draft picks. This team will never compete with the likes of Boston, Orlando, and Miami. The front office needs to start building a team through the draft that will be ready to CONTEND,not just compete, for a championship five years down the road while those other teams will be “old.” That is the goal, right?


February 9th, 2011
12:06 pm

Marvin will go down in Hawks history as the worst #2 lottery pick EVER….Take Mike the old Geezer. with ya…………..


February 9th, 2011
12:07 pm

tell it like it is MC


February 9th, 2011
12:10 pm

“Hawks fans are the most fair weather fans in the world,”

The Hawks are the most fair weather franchise in the world..So there……………….lol

Don Won

February 9th, 2011
12:13 pm

How can your highest paid Superstar/Allstar player score only 6 points.


February 9th, 2011
12:17 pm

“Trade everyone but Horford and acquire draft picks”


Hawks Fan

February 9th, 2011
12:17 pm

Put Bibby on the far end of the bench and let him stay there until he learns how to play some defense. Put Marvin on the other end. Every time I see him I think how we wasted a 1st round pick on him. This team would be able to “rise uo” had they picked Chris Paul. The Hawkks will always be my team but right now I don’t even watch them because management is not committed to winning and neither is the team. They just show no heart.


February 9th, 2011
12:18 pm

ASGeemen= The fix is in… No Championships in this town guys..Sorry

NBA sux

February 9th, 2011
12:21 pm

Carmelo’s $20 million

Joe Johnson’s $20 million

When you get paid that kind of money, you should be acknowledged by one Name. Nobody outside of Atl knows who Joe is.

J.R. Rider

February 9th, 2011
12:22 pm

I can still play.