Atlanta's defensive struggles continue in loss to the Suns

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks came up with another great offensive effort but it went wasted due to another lackluster effort on the defensive end.

Atlanta fell for the 11th time in 12 games on Sunday in a 129-120 loss to the Phoenix Suns thanks to another lackluster effort on the defensive end of the floor. Mike Budenholzer specifically pointed to his team's transition defense following the game:

"They shot the ball extremely well. They play with great pace, they put lot of pressure in your defense, make or miss," Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said. "Our transition defense wasn't good enough.

The Hawks were bad in transition no doubt but they actually managed to top Phoenix in fast break points 25-24 on the night. Still when you allow a team to shoot this well then you are going to have a hard time winning.

Sunsshotchart_medium

Atlanta's problems are two fold. Sure their frontcourt is banged up but we have also seen slippage in other areas defensively. Phoenix did out rebound the Hawks 34-26 but only had a 10-7 advantage in second chance points. Atlanta's problems of late center on that they have very few defenders that can (or will) stay in front of their man.

Time after time Sunday night the Suns would penetrate Atlanta's defense forcing it to rotate and then kick out for open shooters. Assistant coach Taylor Jenkins talked about it during halftime of the broadcast saying that they were over committed to help.

To combat this, we have started to see the Hawks switch more on screens but that did little more than provide the Suns with mismatches to work against and more opportunities for shooters to be left on the perimeter.

Things did improve in the second half as Atlanta limited Phoenix to just 35 percent shooting in the third quarter. However, a late 7-1 run by the Suns to end the third quarter likely decided the game. That Phoenix still shot 55 percent for the game and was 15-24 from three-point range speaks volumes.

When completely healthy this Hawks team couldn't be considered an elite defensive team. They had success working as a unit and playing aggressive. For this team to snap out of its funk they need to get back to the basics. No gimmicks, just a good solid brand of defense.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Peachtree Hoops

You must be a member of Peachtree Hoops to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Peachtree Hoops. You should read them.

Join Peachtree Hoops

You must be a member of Peachtree Hoops to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Peachtree Hoops. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker