The Atlanta Hawks dropped their ninth-straight home game in a 115-91 defeat against the Miami Heat on Wednesday. The Hawks last won at home on Nov. 22 vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Atlanta is now one game shy of the 41-game halfway point of the regular season at 17-23, losing eight of their last ten.
When asked after the game what the team’s mood was like in the locker room, and if they were “mad enough,” head coach Nate McMillan took a second as if he was searching for the perfect words.
“[We’re] pissed off, I mean, come on,” McMillan said. “What kind of question is- I don’t get it.”
The follow-up attempt to clarify was sometimes the team doesn’t look like it’s playing hard enough.
“I didn’t think we were able to sustain it tonight,” McMillan said. “I thought we got off to a good start that first quarter, but that third and fourth quarter, they picked it up, got the momentum and kept the momentum.”
It took approximately 28 minutes for the next Hawk, forward De’Andre Hunter, to get to the podium.
“It was just the typical after-the-game coach talk,” Hunter said of the player’s extended postgame presser arrival wait time. “...nothing special.”
McMillan and Hunter both expressed they weren’t concerned about whether or not the team could turn it around this, as they said there were plenty of games remaining in the season.
While optimism is key to success, there still has to be a plan to bridge the vision into reality. So how exactly will the team get there?
Insert John Collins’ iPhone.
“I’m not sure I understand,” the automated voice said in the middle of one of Collins’ answers.
“Yeah, me too, Siri,” Collins responded to the phone before continuing to answer his question.
It was a light-hearted moment in a tense time for the team, which all stems from as Collins put it, “losing.”
John Collins gets interrupted in his postgame postmortem by his iPhone's Siri saying, "I don't understand."— Kevin Chouinard (@KLChouinard) January 13, 2022
He rolls with it 100 percent. pic.twitter.com/KjMgQc7UGW
The reigning Sekou Smith Award, given to the Hawks’ player with the most professionalism and integrity in interactions with the media, continued to give the most in-depth and honest answers in the presser. The session happened during a week where two of his stories became national trending topics attempting to dissect whether he was frustrated with his teammates for limited action offensively, or with the organization being mentioned in trade rumors for the second-straight season.
“I would love for someone to come up to me and tell me, ‘Hey, John,” Collins said. “Do this, this, this and this and the team will go on an eight-game win streak. You know what I mean? I’d love it, but I just don’t. That’s why I keep on saying the only thing I can do and implore my team to do is continue to work and continue to try together as brothers.”
The next opportunity the group has to try collectively as immediate family members is on Friday in Miami. The matchup is against the same Heat squad that received “Let’s Go Heat” chants in State Farm Arena while the Hawks were booed by its home crowd on Wednesday night. Hunter said he’d like Atlanta to be more cohesive on defense and dissect Miami’s off-ball screen action before the next duel.