Posted 03/23/2011 at 09:50 AM
For those of us that passed on Chicago minus four at Atlanta last night, shame on us! The Hawks are mired in an abysmal slump that's seen them lose six home games by an average of 17.2 points in an 18-day stretch. No, that's not the type of momentum you want to take into the playoffs.
The Bulls led the Hawks by 29 at intermission and by 43 at one point in the second half. The crowd was chanting 'MVP' for Derrick Rose, who happens to play for the other team.
That's not a shocker at Philips Arena, but it's extremely embarrassing nonetheless.
Larry Drew's team has now lost 15 home games with nine of those defeats coming by double-digit margins.
The club signed Joe Johnson to a max contract worth north of $100 million this past off-season, yet his scoring numbers (18.7 points per game) and 3-point shooting (30.5%) are the lowest he's produced in six seasons with Atlanta.
In eight of the Hawks' last nine games, Johnson has scored below his average, surpassing 17 points just once.
The team could be sold any day, the future of the new head coach in in limbo and GM Rick Sund, who pulled the trigger on the Kirk Hinrich trade that clearly isn't working out, might not be back next year either.
In other words, there couldn't possibly be more negativity around this team at a time when it should be building momentum for the postseason. One thing is for certain: The Hawks have never made it to the Eastern Conference finals since moving to Atlanta, and that streak of futility won't be coming to an end this year. In fact, the Magic might be getting the brooms out again.