Hawks fireplace Lloyd Pierce; will Nate McMillan change him as head coach?

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(Getty Shots)

The Hawks entered the 2020-21 season with playoff expectations after spending lavishly in free company. It is now particular they felt Lloyd Pierce wasn’t taking them within the aesthetic direction.

Atlanta launched Monday that it has fired Pierce amid a rough stretch in which the workforce has lost 12 of its final 17 games. Pierce, who used to be named the pinnacle coach of the Hawks in 2018, leaves Atlanta with a 63-120 overall document.

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“We would must thank Lloyd for his work and commitment to now not simplest the Hawks group nonetheless town of Atlanta,” Hawks president of basketball operations Travis Schlenk acknowledged. “He and his spouse, Melissa, are expansive other folks who occupy made a undeniable affect at some stage within town. We occupy now got high expectations for our workforce on the court docket and we predict by making this swap now that we are able to occupy an actual 2nd half of of the season.”

While the Hawks stumbled out of the gates to a 14-20 ticket (11th within the Eastern Convention) this season with Pierce on the helm, it ought to be smartly-known that he dealt with a brutal bustle of injuries, specifically with offseason acquisitions Bogdan Bogdanovic, Kris Dunn, Danilo Gallinari and Rajon Rondo missing main time. Atlanta has lost the 2nd-most games to injuries within the league on the succor of simplest Orlando, per Spotrac’s injury tracker, giving Pierce little likelihood to build up any vogue of chemistry with this neighborhood.

Nonetheless, the Hawks also consistently attach themselves in situation to preserve games, simplest to tumble apart within the closing minutes. Seemingly or now not it’s unfair to pin all of those screw ups on Pierce, nonetheless the coach is customarily the first person pushed out of the door when an NBA workforce is underperforming.

11 of the Hawks’ 20 losses this season occupy advance when the workforce has had a lead within the fourth quarter.

— Chris Kirschner (@ChrisKirschner) March 1, 2021

So the place does Atlanta gallop from right here? The Hawks are “hopeful” Nate McMillan will accumulate the transition from assistant coach to period in-between head coach, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. McMillan has been “fiercely trusty” in his enhance of Pierce, per Wojnarowski, so or now not it’s a ways rarely out of the ask he’ll turn down the job. McMillan previously served because the pinnacle coach of the Pacers for four seasons forward of becoming a member of Pierce’s employees.

As of Monday, Atlanta is simplest two games out of a spot in the play-in tournament, and there is mild a substantial amount of time left to expose this season round. Whether or now not or now not it’s McMillan or but every other candidate, the stress will be on the next head coach to handbook the Hawks succor to the postseason for the first time since 2017.

UPDATE: McMillan will clutch over as period in-between head coach, per Wojnarowski.

ESPN Sources: Nate McMillan has well-liked the period in-between head instructing job with the Hawks. McMillan has a 667-591 (.530) document in 16 seasons as head coach with Seattle, Portland and Indiana.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 1, 2021

Lloyd Pierce used to be supportive of him accepting the period in-between job, which used to be main to McMillan, sources inform ESPN.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 1, 2021

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