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Lloyd Pierce talks Playoffs for 2020-21!


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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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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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I definitely agree it’s time for the playoffs and I am glad they are realizing accountability.  We have had three awesome drafts that have contributed to our fantastic core.  We have the possibility on another high pick to add plus money to spend in FA which makes for a great chance of making the playoffs.

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We better make drafting a defensive specialist or two, as well as replacing Carter and Graham with defensive vets, the biggest priority of the off-season.

We have the makings of an elite offense already.  We don't need more scoring specialists.

The team will improve on defense.  It's coming.  They will gel and start reacting instead of watching and thinking.  And Capella SHOULD help create that anchor, especially with Collins next to him under the basket and banging for position and protecting the rim.  That should be a catalyst, along with obvious growth of Reddish and Hunter.

That will come.  But I still don't expect miracles.  We will probably be a middle of the pack defensive team next year at best.  And it'll be better again the year after next, and so on.

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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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8 hours ago, Beef said:

We better make drafting a defensive specialist or two, as well as replacing Carter and Graham with defensive vets, the biggest priority of the off-season.

We have the makings of an elite offense already.  We don't need more scoring specialists.

The team will improve on defense.  It's coming.  They will gel and start reacting instead of watching and thinking.  And Capella SHOULD help create that anchor, especially with Collins next to him under the basket and banging for position and protecting the rim.  That should be a catalyst, along with obvious growth of Reddish and Hunter.

That will come.  But I still don't expect miracles.  We will probably be a middle of the pack defensive team next year at best.  And it'll be better again the year after next, and so on.

I thought last draft was a draft for two way players.  Really wanted Thybule too

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12 hours ago, jayu70 said:

Don’t see how you can listen to that and not realize and know that we have an extremely good professional basketball coach.  Dude knows his stuff and has the right temperament and style to lead a young team.

He’s going to develop these guys and turn them into mature intuitive and max effort basketball players.  You can already see their growth.  Some people just have/had too high of expectations of them being at certain levels before it’s reasonable.  Especially after being snake-bit with unforeseen hindrances too.

No suspensions and lower volume of injuries and necessary minutes forced upon getting rookies experience, and next year will be a revelation compared to this one.  

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I'm excited about seeing the Hawks in the playoffs again. I'm excited about seeing the growth and development come to fruition and translate into better basketball, and ultimately wins. 

I like that CLP isn't shying away from setting that standard, but I also feel like there is some pressure from above to take things to the next level. We've had three solid drafts since Schlenk was hired as GM, which has resulted in JC, Trae, Huerter, Cam, and Hunter. The talent is there. CLP I think is doing a good job molding a very young roster (outside of Vince Carter). But these young cats gotta take it upon themselves to take that next step in their progression, too. I like how CLP is allowing them to, in a way, figure that out for themselves.

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