Perhaps another meeting is in order.
The Hawks have lost two games – part of their current four-game skid – since holding a team meeting Sunday to air issues affecting their recent play. While coach Larry Drew described that session as “very productive” the on-court results have been quite the opposite.
Consider the losing streak:
* They trailed by 19 points before a fourth-quarter comeback fell short against the Pistons Friday.
* They couldn’t hold a 19-point second-quarter lead in a loss to the Celtics Saturday, prompting the team meeting.
* They fell behind by 17 points in a loss to the Kevin Love-less Timberwolves Tuesday. Drew said his team was “soft” in the first half.
* They fell behind by 19 points in a loss to the injury-riddled Cavaliers Wednesday. It was just the ninth win of the season for Cleveland, who also won in Atlanta, which played without four regulars.
Not a good week at all.
The Hawks, who have also lost five of their past six games, no longer have what was a firm grip on third place in the Eastern Conference. They are now fourth behind the Heat, Knicks and Pacers and just a half-game ahead of the Bulls and Nets entering Thursday’s NBA schedule.
The Hawks host the Jazz Friday before games at the Wizards Saturday and Bulls Monday. Coach Larry Drew vowed following Wednesday’s loss that he would do what is necessary to jump start his team.
“This is a slump we are going through,” center Al Horford said. “We have to overcome it.”
Drew changed his starting lineup Wednesday, bring Lou Williams back off the bench. He said he may tweak the lineup again. He played rookies John Jenkins and Mike Scott in the first quarter. Clearly, Drew is looking for a way out of the slump.
The Hawks now play eight of their next 10 games against teams currently with .500 or better records, including rematches with the Timberwolves and the Celtics.
- Chris Vivlamore
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