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Lloyd Pierce talks Playoffs for 2020-21!

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Lloyd Pierce talks Playoffs for 2020-21! 

Post#1 » by jayu70 » Thu Mar 5, 2020 12:46 am

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If nothing else, Wednesday’s public-facing sentiment was certainly different and, in Pierce’s words, he believes it was received differently inside the locker room, simply because it wasn’t something that was spoken in such plain terms previously.

“It was great,” Pierce said. “I said it and Trae’s head shook. De’Andre Hunter looked up, got out of his seat and looked forward. They haven’t heard me say that before. They’ve heard me talk about preparing to win. There are a lot of phases we have to go through to prepare to win games that De’Andre and Cam didn’t know about at the beginning of the season. So I think I caught them off guard a little bit just by saying that. They haven’t heard me talk about wins and playoffs. But that’s where we are. We’re at a point where that’s more important for our growth. We’ve gotta get out of development and transitioning to what it takes to win games. It’s more than just the individual. It’s our team, as a whole, really coming together, pushing each other holding each other accountable.”

“We know what we have returning,” said Pierce. “We’ll look and see what else is added, but the guys we have returning have been together enough, enjoy being with each other, believe they’re a playoff team and want it. We got to change the mindset to that and really start approaching it that way. It’s still not expectations, it’s just a belief. The guys believe. They believed it this year. But I want them to hold each other accountable.”
For the Hawks, the future is still more important than the present and, while that isn’t an excuse for the team’s performance this season, it does serve as an explanation. In the grand scheme, that doesn’t change for the 2020-21 specifically but, for the first time in a public form, Pierce made it clear that, even if expectation isn’t the word he’d use, the playoffs are the focus for next season.

“Everything that we do is about our team progressing and going forward,” Pierce said. “Next year, the progression is playoffs. That’s just a natural step. I’m not afraid to say it. Holding each other accountable, me holding them accountable, and them holding me accountable is very important for a team to be successful.”

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Re: Lloyd Pierce talks Playoffs for 2020-21! 

Post#2 » by jayu70 » Thu Mar 5, 2020 1:16 am

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All season, Pierce has stressed that this season isn’t about wins or making the playoffs. But on Wednesday the tone changed, and we know what the next stage of the process should look like next season.

“Everything that we do is about our team progressing and going forward,” Pierce said. “Next year, the progression is playoffs. That’s just a natural step. I’m not afraid to say it. Holding each other accountable, me holding them accountable and them holding me accountable is very important for a team to be successful.”

The Hawks held a meeting before Wednesday’s practice — Tuesday was an off day — to talk about the approach when they face a game like Monday’s. It wasn’t necessarily about the particulars of what went wrong but how to prevent it from happening.

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Re: Lloyd Pierce talks Playoffs for 2020-21! 

Post#3 » by Richfield » Thu Mar 5, 2020 2:32 pm

After that horrid press conference he decided to flip the narrative REAALLY fast, probably in attempt to save his job.

I don't know the full story with Pierce, I just know the Hawks record versus the preseason expectations and hype, and combined with that white flag press conference, I was wondering if Hawks fans are buying any of this.
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Re: Lloyd Pierce talks Playoffs for 2020-21! 

Post#4 » by shakes0 » Thu Mar 5, 2020 3:53 pm

Richfield wrote:After that horrid press conference he decided to flip the narrative REAALLY fast, probably in attempt to save his job.

I don't know the full story with Pierce, I just know the Hawks record versus the preseason expectations and hype, and combined with that white flag press conference, I was wondering if Hawks fans are buying any of this.


This team is exactly where they should be. Only a few homer fans and morons in the media put high expectations on this team pre-season. Honest fans and people who understand basketball took one look at this roster and saw one of the youngest teams in the NBA with the worst center rotation in the entire league and 2 lottery picks about to be thrust into the rotation and knew this team was going to struggle this year.

Throw in the JC suspension and Huerter injuries to start the year and you have a team doing exactly what it should be.

Also, the Hawks have been noticeably better record wise since everyone got healthy and off the suspension list.

I like Pierce and think he has done a great job. No way should he be on the hot seat.
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Re: Lloyd Pierce talks Playoffs for 2020-21! 

Post#5 » by jayu70 » Thu Mar 5, 2020 7:47 pm

Richfield wrote:After that horrid press conference he decided to flip the narrative REAALLY fast, probably in attempt to save his job.

I don't know the full story with Pierce, I just know the Hawks record versus the preseason expectations and hype, and combined with that white flag press conference, I was wondering if Hawks fans are buying any of this.

Travis Schlenk the GM indicated back in mid Dec. the front office projected the win total to be 30/31 wins this season (fans have unrealistic expectations more often than not). We are at 19 wins, so not terribly far off when you consider Collins' unexpected 25 game suspension.
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Re: Lloyd Pierce talks Playoffs for 2020-21! 

Post#6 » by jayu70 » Thu Mar 5, 2020 8:46 pm

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For the first time since the Hawks acquired Clint Capela from Houston before the trade deadline, he had a chance to really deliver a message to the team. In Wednesday’s team meeting, head coach Lloyd Pierce told the Hawks that they are a playoff team and that’s the next step of the rebuilding process next season.

That’s a lot of pressure for a team that currently has 19 wins and is the 14th seed in the Eastern Conference and in contention to have the best odds in the NBA Draft Lottery in May. But the young core bought into what Pierce was saying.

Capela spoke up during the meeting and told the Hawks how important it is to have a competitive edge and always be consistent with that because skill and talent can only take you so far after Game 82.

“In the playoffs, skill and talent is nice, but in the playoffs, it’s more about toughness and effort and competing,” Capela said Thursday. “Refs don’t call fouls anymore. It’s not as easy and nice anymore. It’s not one game, and you go to the next city. It’s, ‘OK, we beat you tonight, but we’ll see you in two days,’ or ‘Y’all beat us tonight, then we’ll see you in two days,’ It’s over and over again. That’s when the challenge comes in when you play the same team over and over again whenever you already know what the moves are going to be. You have to figure it out with your effort and competitiveness to get through that toughness. This is what I want to bring to this team.

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Re: Lloyd Pierce talks Playoffs for 2020-21! 

Post#8 » by HMFFL » Fri Mar 6, 2020 4:33 am

Clint Capela back next season and healthy wi determine a lot. The majority should feel more confident in our team if he can be on the court.

As for this year, Collins getting suspended deflated a lot of hopes, and our team has death with a lot of minor injuries.

I like the direction we're headed. Another off-season to add and build will help. Our rookies becoming second year players should be a big upgrade too.

Go Hawks!

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Re: Lloyd Pierce talks Playoffs for 2020-21! 

Post#9 » by Jamaaliver » Tue Apr 7, 2020 2:06 pm

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Re: Lloyd Pierce talks Playoffs for 2020-21! 

Post#10 » by jayu70 » Tue Apr 7, 2020 6:04 pm

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Re: Lloyd Pierce talks Playoffs for 2020-21! 

Post#11 » by CP War Hawks » Wed Apr 8, 2020 7:09 pm

“There’s going to be a major shift for our team moving forward, and the focus starts with our core five and the evaluation is about each guy’s growth individually,” Pierce said. “I put it out there, and I stand behind my comments of we need to make a major jump next year.” Pierce said of those five players, “for the most part, they’re starters.” He said the coaches have to evaluate Reddish and Huerter collectively, and they have to figure out whether Hunter is a three or four long term and if he should be playing more backup minutes at the four if he’s not. Those are questions the Hawks need to figure out so they can understand how to structure the team around those players and Capela. 2 days ago – via Chris Kirschner @ The Athletic

“I think a lot of our skill positions are areas we feel pretty confident in,” Pierce said. “We need to add shooting and we need to improve shooting. A lot of that has to happen internally with all of our guys. Trae ended up at 36 percent. John’s at 41 percent. De’Andre Hunter is at 35 or 36 percent. Kevin is at 38 percent. We need to add shooting as well. We need to add guys who give us the capability to continue to stretch the floor. As a coach, internally in the locker room — the intangibles of toughness and an element of versatility and leadership, when we throw out the term and the concept of being a playoff team — and right now it’s just a term, concept and mindset. What’s most important is how you manage the games. How do you manage the days? It starts with me, but it traces down to the players. To have that in our locker room with that core five is really important. Some of these guys are going to be competing for some spots when we address and fill out the rest of the roster.” 2 days ago – via Chris Kirschner @ The Athletic

Another good article from CK btw. But yeah, pressure is on LP with now Cap, Dedmon, and the progression from the core 23 and under guys. With massive cap space and a probable top 5 pick, that's more than enough to make the post season. They should really make it without anymore additions imo.

From the small snippet above, it seems they are trying to make a decision on Huerter or Cam starting. Also trying to figure out if Hunter will be a small ball 4 and/or a big ball 3. I feel he should just go big and/or strong as possible.
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Re: Lloyd Pierce talks Playoffs for 2020-21! 

Post#12 » by Jamaaliver » Thu Apr 30, 2020 1:55 am

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In regards to their long-term outlook, the Hawks are in a slightly tricky spot. The team has capable young players in Trae Young and John Collins. Both have expressed frustration with the constant losing they’ve dealt with since entering the league, but it also remains unclear just how high they can lift a roster as its two best players.

Moving forward, regardless of what happens this season, the Hawks need to decide if they want to push their chips closer to the middle of the table. With a relatively clean cap sheet, Atlanta can try to spend the next couple offseasons acquiring veterans and trying to raise the floor of the team.

Atlanta can’t be an up-and-coming team forever, and Young’s All-Star bid may accelerate the organization’s timeline. The transition from young squad to perennial playoff one is not easy, and when the NBA is back, navigating those next steps will be critical for Atlanta’s front office.
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Re: Lloyd Pierce talks Playoffs for 2020-21! 

Post#13 » by Jamaaliver » Wed May 20, 2020 2:31 am

Which NBA teams will improve their win totals most next season?

Atlanta Hawks

At 20-47, the Atlanta Hawks boasted the NBA’s fourth-worst record when the season went on hiatus. But there’s reason to believe they could be back in the playoff mix as early as next year.

It starts with All-Star point guard Trae Young, who has quickly cemented himself as one of the league’s most promising young players. He ranked fourth in points per game (29.6) and second in assists (9.3) while flashing nearly unlimited shooting range and dazzling passing vision. His defense remains a significant concern — he is 503rd out of 503 players in ESPN’s Defensive Real Plus-Minus — but the Hawks have invested in defenders elsewhere to help account for Young’s deficiencies on that end of the floor.

Having Young, Hunter, Reddish, Collins, Capela and Kevin Huerter alone gives the Hawks one of the league’s top young cores. Throw in another mid-to-high lottery pick and the potential for significant upgrades in free agency, and it’s easy to imagine the Hawks flirting with 40-plus wins in 2020-21.
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Re: Lloyd Pierce talks Playoffs for 2020-21! 

Post#14 » by Spud2nique » Wed May 20, 2020 7:06 am

Jamaaliver wrote:
Which NBA teams will improve their win totals most next season?

Atlanta Hawks

At 20-47, the Atlanta Hawks boasted the NBA’s fourth-worst record when the season went on hiatus. But there’s reason to believe they could be back in the playoff mix as early as next year.

It starts with All-Star point guard Trae Young, who has quickly cemented himself as one of the league’s most promising young players. He ranked fourth in points per game (29.6) and second in assists (9.3) while flashing nearly unlimited shooting range and dazzling passing vision. His defense remains a significant concern — he is 503rd out of 503 players in ESPN’s Defensive Real Plus-Minus — but the Hawks have invested in defenders elsewhere to help account for Young’s deficiencies on that end of the floor.

Having Young, Hunter, Reddish, Collins, Capela and Kevin Huerter alone gives the Hawks one of the league’s top young cores. Throw in another mid-to-high lottery pick and the potential for significant upgrades in free agency, and it’s easy to imagine the Hawks flirting with 40-plus wins in 2020-21.
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Wolves over Nets for me. As far as biggest jump.
GO HAWKS!!! :thumbsup:
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Re: Lloyd Pierce talks Playoffs for 2020-21! 

Post#15 » by Jamaaliver » Wed May 20, 2020 4:52 pm

NBA Teams with the Biggest Breakthrough Potential This Offseason

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Atlanta Hawks

Playing at a 25-win pace doesn't exactly portend good times for the Atlanta Hawks. Trae Young is a top-25ish player but a bottom-oneish defender. Their wing rotation is begging for experience. Clint Capela adds a tantalizing rim-runner dynamic but has yet to suit up for Atlanta while recovering from a left heel injury.

The relative unknownness of the Hawks' core definitely matters. They'll need an internal leap or three to achieve a meaningful breakthrough. The thing is, they're well-positioned to get them.

John Collins may have already given them one. He and Young provide the basis of a great offense, and his three-point shooting is good enough to pair with Capela up front. Kevin Huerter has shown some creativity out of the pick-and-roll (when healthy).

De'Andre Hunter is downing 35.5 percent of his threes on moderate volume. Cam Reddish is averaging 14.6 points while converting 41.7 percent of his treys over his past 21 games. Capela offers a viable defensive presence in the middle.

Atlanta will partner its core, which, thanks to Young, includes an entrenched All-Star, with another high draft pick and a mountain of cap space. The latter is going to be more valuable than ever.

Everyone is expecting the league to lower its 2020-21 salary cap from the projected $115 million. No drop, however steep, will torpedo the Hawks' flexibility. They're on course for more than $45 million in wiggle room if they renounce most of their own free agents. It'll take a cataclysmic cratering to remove them from the max-money tier.

...their flexibility is now infinitely more appealing to the above-replacement-level veterans looking to sign contracts worth more than whatever the mid-level exception winds up being. They're liable to enter the running for players they may not have attracted before or, if those cases don't exist, be cap-rich enough to stock up on impact talent.
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Re: Lloyd Pierce talks Playoffs for 2020-21! 

Post#16 » by Jamaaliver » Sun Aug 23, 2020 4:30 pm

Buying or Selling Every Lottery Team Making NBA Playoffs Next Year

Atlanta Hawks: Selling

The Atlanta Hawks keep attempting to accelerate their rebuild, and with Trae Young already having engineered his All-Star ascension, the thought process makes some sense. Clearly, Atlanta thinks it's close, as the drafting of De'Andre Hunter and deadline deal for Clint Capela felt like searches for the final puzzle piece.

But save for the internal desire to compete, what's the rush? John Collins is the senior member of this young nucleus—assuming he isn't traded—and hasn't even turned 23 yet. Young, the centerpiece, is only 21. Even Capela is just 26 and should still be working toward his prime, since he hasn't received major minutes until the last three seasons.

Unless the Hawks strike gold in free agency, it's hard to find a great fit—their core needs more developmental time. They went just 20-47 this season and outperformed their scoring differential, which said they should have gone 16-51. They couldn't even tread water with Young (minus-4.9 points per 100 possessions), and they drowned without him (minus-12.2).

This doesn't dim Atlanta's future, which appears among the brightest of all the rebuilders. But it should dampen expectations for next season. Player development should eventually be Atlanta's ticket to the second season, but patience is a vital part of this process.
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Re: Lloyd Pierce talks Playoffs for 2020-21! 

Post#17 » by Jamaaliver » Thu Sep 24, 2020 9:52 pm

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Re: Lloyd Pierce talks Playoffs for 2020-21! 

Post#18 » by Spud2nique » Thu Sep 24, 2020 9:54 pm

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I like this guy a lot and always will because we can one thing in common. We will never stop until....

WE GET IT! :lol:
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Re: Lloyd Pierce talks Playoffs for 2020-21! 

Post#19 » by Jamaaliver » Mon Sep 28, 2020 9:05 pm

Kevin Huerter wrote:I think we’re finally allowed to say publicly, I know Lloyd (Pierce) said it, but our whole focus, as a team, is making the playoffs. We looked at definitely some of the teams that were in it from the Eastern Conference this year and I know there’s definitely teams that we think we can jump ahead of going into next year. We’re trying to make the playoffs. That’s really kinda the main focus for us.

It’s something we’ve talked about, even at the beginning of this training camp. A lot of individual stats and individual accolades have to be put aside, and we have to really try to come together as a team. For the most part, we felt like, even though the last three years have been a growing process, a rebuild, whatever you want to call it, we felt in some areas we’ve underachieved... we want to change that around and we want to make the playoffs.
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Re: Lloyd Pierce talks Playoffs for 2020-21! 

Post#20 » by jayu70 » Sun Oct 11, 2020 7:34 pm

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Many of his answers centered around a lack of communication on the court, particularly while on defense – some of that stemming from having quieter players in general, some of it because they were a younger team still learning the NBA. It wasn’t their only issue, but not talking enough created a less-competitive Hawks team.

“I don’t think you can go in that locker room and find a lot of loud guys,” Pierce said that night. "And so, when you don’t have that type of natural personality, you have to intelligently create it. How do you communicate, still being true to yourself, but also being true to your teammates. We’ve had loud guys around, and everyone knows what a loud guy sounds like. We don’t have that, but that doesn’t mean we should be noncommunicative. Right now, we’re quiet, we’re a little reserved, and then we’re not communicating with one another, and that’s where the spirit dies.

“How do you empower one another? If I’m in a pick and roll and I know the play is drawn up, I love for our guys to go out on the court and say, ‘Hey, I’m coming off and I’m looking for you, knock that down.’ That’s communication. You don’t have to be loud to do it, but you do have to interact with one another, just empower guys, let him know that you’re thinking about him, maybe you make the pass, maybe you don’t, but at least there’s some interaction there.”

The Hawks' communication improved throughout the season, considering they got the outgoing John Collins back in late December and at the trade deadline added former Hawk and experienced veteran Dewayne Dedmon, whose voice gave them a boost. The team as a whole improved from January onward, which made not getting an invite to the Orlando restart an even tougher pill to swallow, as their final 15 games at the end of March and beginning of April were snipped.But, taking another step forward with communication on offense and defense will be key, according to Huerter.

“Can’t always come from Trae (Young), can’t always come from, now he’s not with us, Vince (Carter), or different guys we have on the team,” Huerter said. "For the most part, it’s a lot of guys that have got to speak up, and a lot of guys that play a lot of minutes that have got to speak up more, me being included. Communication is one of the most important things you can have on a team.

"If you’ve ever been a part of a team, a team that doesn’t talk usually doesn’t win. So that’s something we have to get better (at) and just being on the same page.”

For the soft-spoken Hunter, minicamp gave him the chance to practice speaking up.“(Pierce) addressed it with me, and I’ve been trying to be more vocal in practice,” Hunter said. “He would tell me to call out the defense for whatever our team is running, call out the play for whatever our team wants to run, so just trying to slowly get me comfortable with doing that, and I feel like with these two weeks that we have, if I can get better and better each day, it can just be something that comes natural.”

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