The Atlanta Hawks made their way to the United Center in Chicago on Saturday night to do battle with the Bulls on the second half of a back-to-back set. 48 minutes later, the Hawks left Chicago with a tenth straight loss, falling by a 35-point margin.
Star guard Trae Young did not make the trip with his team after tweaking his right ankle last night against the Milwaukee Bucks. In his place, Cam Reddish joined the starting lineup, joining Bruno Fernando, De’Andre Hunter, Kevin Huerter, and John Collins.
In almost too predictable fashion, the Hawks got off to a horrendous offensive start without Young. Atlanta only managed to scrounge up 19 first quarter points in total with Alex Len doing a majority of that damage in reserve duty.
The defense was not great either, as the Bulls mounted 35 points rather easily and had the blowout on with haste. The Hawks didn’t seem to have much energy, either, which was the most concerning part. They were slow in transition defense and routinely were going under screens. No one was getting into offensive sets and it more or less resembled pickup basketball rather than professional basketball.
Alas, action continued into the second quarter with Atlanta down 35-19. At least initially, the Hawks looked much better to start. They began going to Collins on every trip down the floor and he was obliging to help get the Hawks as close as 11 points midway through the second.
Collins was a major bright spot in the second quarter as he made his way to 18 first half points to help sustain the Hawks into the locker room. Things were not pretty, but they at least were not embarrassing at halftime.
The second quarter intensity from Collins individually continued into the third quarter as he quickly made his way to the 30-point plateau. He made two three pointers in the quarter and almost singlehandedly carried Atlanta’s offense. Collins was essentially the only bright spot for the Hawks.
Through three periods, Collins scored 32 of Atlanta’s 65 points. Despite being just three points off his career high of 35 at that point, the Hawks still found themselves down 18 points to the Bulls, but the visitors were closing the gap somewhat due to the Bulls only shooting 6-of-22 in the third.
The Hawks opened the fourth quarter with Collins off the floor and the Bulls essentially put the final nails in the coffin. From the 7:09 mark of the fourth quarter until the 2:16 mark, Atlanta went scoreless and that was quite the microcosm of the game and also made the final score look much worse than it should’ve been (all things considered).
Collins finished one point shy of his career high with 34 points to go along with eight rebounds in 32 minutes of action. The only other Hawk in double figures was Alex Len who scored 10 points and grabbed five rebounds in just 20 minutes.
The Hawks losing streak has now reached 10 games and Atlanta has lost 21 of their last 23 contests. They will look to break the skid on Monday night against the Orlando Magic.