Report: Hawks' Lloyd Pierce Not Yet on Hot Seat Despite 6-22 Start to the Season

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistDecember 18, 2019

Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce instructs his team during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/David Banks)
David Banks/Associated Press

A difficult start to the 2019-20 season doesn't mean the Atlanta Hawks are ready to put head coach Lloyd Pierce on the hot seat. 

Per Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes, Pierce is not yet in danger of losing his job despite a 6-22 record. 

There was some thought coming into this season that the Hawks could be a sleeper team in the Eastern Conference. They only won 29 games in 2018-19, but their core group of young talent with Trae Young, John Collins and Kevin Huerter finished the year strong. 

The Ringer's Paolo Uggetti wrote about Atlanta's playoff potential being largely centered around Young's improvements during his rookie campaign:

"It’s remarkable that we’re only a year removed from Young’s disappointing summer league performance (shows how much that mattered) and slow regular-season start, and we’re already christening him as the key figure on an ascending team. But that’s how much progress Young made in the latter half of the season, when he averaged nearly 25 points and 10 assists per game."

Young has held up his end of the bargain, especially on offense. The 21-year-old ranks fourth in the NBA with 28.3 points and 8.5 assists per game through 27 games this season. 

Atlanta has dropped 22 of its past 26 games following a 2-0 start. Collins has been out since Nov. 5 due to a 25-game suspension for violating the NBA's anti-drug program when he tested positive for a growth hormone. 

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The Hawks defense ranks 28th in points allowed per game (118.7) and defensive rating (114.5), per Basketball Reference. Their 143-120 loss to the New York Knicks on Tuesday dropped them into last place in the Eastern Conference. 

Pierce is in his second season with the Hawks after being hired to take over for Mike Budenholzer. The 43-year-old owns a 35-75 record with the team.