Dewayne Dedmon

Hawks Q&A: What's the status of Clint Capela's injury?

In the loss in Memphis on March 7, I could spot Capela coaching up rookie Cam Reddish during a timeout, and he also made a point to give Trae Young encouragement throughout the game.

Throughout most of the season before the All-Star break, particularly the dark period when Kevin Huerter’s injuries and John Collins’ suspension overlapped in November, Pierce would often say some version of “We just didn’t compete” after losses.

The blowout loss in Detroit stands out to me, when the Hawks gave up a 20-0 run in the first quarter and it took Pierce more than an hour to come out from the locker room for his postgame media availability (they held a team meeting after the defeat).

“Compete” and “competitive spirit” were buzzwords for Pierce, and it became clear after that game that pretty much meant effort plays and knowing what it takes to win in the NBA.

A lot of those little effort plays add up, but the Hawks absolutely must be a better defensive team next season if they want to take a step forward, and that’s a big focus.

If you watched the Hawks’ two bad losses to the Grizzlies in March, with Memphis fighting tooth and nail to maintain the eight-seed in the Western Conference, you’ll know what I mean.

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