NBA

Film Session: How and why the Atlanta Hawks have struggled to close out wins


On the day after New Year’s, the Atlanta Hawks entered the fourth quarter with a four-point lead over the Cleveland Cavaliers, a team that has toiled at the bottom of the Eastern Conference this season and likely will for its remainder.


Kevin Huerter tries to force two bad passes to Bruno, and it backfires, leading to an easy dunk for JaVale McGee (Shaq voice) on the other side.


In either case, posting up Hunter on Austin Rivers isn’t a bad decision on the surface, but it’s always about time and score and in a tie-game with six minutes left that shouldn’t be the first option.


Reddish never moves from the corner, Collins drifts around no-man’s-land between the mid-post and the elbow, so Huerter is left with no options after his unsuccessful drive attempt other than kicking it out to the always-ready Gallinari for a contested 3-pointer.


Similar to the Mavericks game a few nights earlier, the offense fell apart down the stretch with players making poor choices that didn’t put their team in a position to win.


Unless, the Hawks work to address these challenges, across every facet of the organization, and get these young players engaged and passionate, they have no chance of turning around this season-killing trend of blowing winnable games.






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