The most frustrating losses the Hawks have had this season have been blowouts to other rebuilding teams, and it happened once again before the All-Star Break on Wednesday evening.
Dewayne Dedmon made his first start for Atlanta in 2019-20 but got in foul trouble early. This opened the door for Cleveland’s new frontcourt duo of Tristan Thompson and the newly acquired Andre Drummond.
The Hawks lost control of this game about halfway through the first quarter when Cleveland went on a run to end the period, and there were no lead changes the rest of the way. Atlanta kept trying to battle their way into this game late, but Cleveland had a response every time, and ultimately, the Hawks fell 127-105.
From a scoring standpoint, it wasn’t all bad, with Trae Young and John Collins posting big numbers. Young had 27 points and 12 assists while Collins scored 23 on 9/12 shooting. Cam Reddish also continued his promising play, hitting a couple of three balls, scoring 16 points in 26 minutes.
By far, the most frustrating part of the game was Tristan Thompson and his years-long dominance over the Atlanta Hawks. I swear if this man played against Atlanta every night, he would be a Hall of Famer. Thompson killed Al Horford, as well as Hawks’ fans hopes and dreams, twice in the playoffs during the Lebron era for Cleveland. He averaged 11 rebounds a contest over two series sweeps. However, Thompson was doing things Wednesday night that he’s never done. After having four made threes in his entire career, Thompson sank three against Atlanta, en route to 27 points and 11 rebounds.
Now that the Hawks are trying to make strides towards winning, the front office won’t be as forgiving about performances like this. Getting blown out by Cleveland without Kevin Love is unacceptable, as is giving up 127 points in regulation. That will not cut it going forward, and if it continues when Clint Capela returns, a lot of changes could be made this summer.