Atlanta Hawks head coach Larry Drew watched as his team blew a 22-point fourth-quarter lead Wednesday night against the Detroit Pistons. The Hawks (17-9) eventually won in double overtime, but Drew wasn't pleased with the way his team gave away the huge lead, saying the Hawks got complacent. (via Chris Vivlamore of the AJC)
Drew pointed out the team's lack of execution for the near-disastrous loss to the lowly Pistons (9-22):
"It wasn't as much as what they were doing as what we were doing," coach Larry Drew said. "We got a little complacent. We started playing the lead. We stopped executing. Defensively, as good as we were in the first half, we were just as bad in the second half. We had defensive breakdowns. We had too many lapses. We were leaving 3-point shooters. Our coverages weren't as sharp as they were in the first half. Once (the lead got cut) to 10, I could see our guys looking at the scoreboard."
One big area of concern for the Hawks was poor free throw shooting. After making their first nine from the line, Atlanta hit just six of their next 14 free throw attempts. However, they did make all eight of their free throw attempts in double overtime. But Drew said that's an area that has to improve for Atlanta, who held their third-place positioning in the Eastern Conference with the win:
"It hasn't caught up to us yet where we've lost the game but if we don't start making our free throws, particularly in crunch-time situations, we can be in that situation very easily," Drew said.
The Hawks are back in action Friday night in Cleveland at 7:30 p.m.