Currently the Hawks are on a 3-game losing streak (at home). The Hawks came home after a tough road trip that wasn't tough because of the quality of opponents but more so for the travel. Most were surprised that the Hawks did so well, posting a 4-1 record which was the best road trip for the franchise. Now the Hawks have turned a successful road trip into a horrible homecoming. At home is where the Hawks were sure to fly. I thought that the Hawks had a chance to win all four games at home, at worst go 2-2. But they did not fail to bring all of our hopes back down to earth.
I must say that I was probably one of a few optimistic hopefuls that didn't believe in the Hawks demise after Al's injury. And I still take that stance. But this was a test that the Hawks should have passed if they were serious about holding their spot as a true contender. The Hawks were valiant in the aftermath of Al's injury and some of the national media and some of our own Hawks fans began to think that maybe, just maybe this team was for real. But a 3-game losing streak at home?
Well its bad but not unusual. I can't even say that the losing streak is solely because the team misses Al's presence, but it would help. I say that because the three losses were caused much by the inconsistency that has plagued the Hawks in this current era of Hawks basketball. They began the season playing high level defense with extraordinary effort, they moved the ball on offense and took care of the ball.
In the last three games, the Hawks have been lackadaisical on offense and defense. Its like the Hawks hit a twilight zone or something. They forget what gained them success and seem to not play in sync with one another. It happens every year. This is the first time this year. I think that this losing streak kind of clouds the fact that the Hawks don't have its starting center. Over the course of the losing streak, the Hawks have fell into the same habits that caused losing in the past even with Al in the lineup. The fact is the Hawks need help up front in the form of any competent center that can rebound and play defense.
This home stretch was important for two reasons: 1) Putting up a good run would have shown that this team is for real. They would have been able to make the case that even without one of its best players, it could still compete at a high level and for once be able to sustain it. 2) They have a much more difficult road trip on the horizon and getting Ws at home would have drastically changed the pressure of such a difficult trip.
All in all, I think that this is just another low point for the Hawks that they will soon get past. Let's just hope that they show up to retaliate against the Pacers.