The Atlanta Hawks lost to the New Orleans Hornets on Friday night, and they did so in historic fashion. Posted by Ben Golliver.
Any time a post-game search of the Basketball-Reference.com database, which stretches back nearly 25 years, turns up empty, it's either really good news or really bad news. Either way, you know you've made some history.
In the case of the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night, it was really bad news. They got absolutely clobbered at home by the New Orleans Hornets, 100-59, scoring just 25 points in the second half.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the Hawks set a franchise record for fewest points since the team moved from Milwaukee to Atlanta in 1968. The paper also noted that this was the team's "worst home loss since a 118-74 blowout by Phoenix on March 30, 2000."
On the night, Atlanta shot 23-79 from the field, a disastrous 29.1%. Atlanta's 23 made field goals as a team was the lowest output since Apr. 28, 1999, when they made just 20 buckets in a win over the New York Knicks. Since the 1986-1987 season, however, Atlanta has never made 23 or fewer shots while attempting 79 or greater shots. So, this night, with its 56 missed field goals, was one of the most brick-filled performance in at least 24 seasons. The Hawks did manage to shoot 25-82 (57 missed field goals) on Apr. 5, 1996.
Also worth nothing, Atlanta's team's assist total of 11 was the lowest in more than year, dating back to a loss to the Miami Heat on Jan. 4, 2010.
Analyzing the boxscore, it's amazing how the awful-ness was spread around so evenly. Only two Hawks reached double figures, No. 1 scoring option Joe Johnson scored just nine points on 12 shots, point guards Mike Bibby and Jeff Teague combined for 0 points on 0-15 shooting, and the team as a whole shot an abysmal 4-20 from the three-point line. The last time the Hawks were that bad from behind the arc was Dec. 4, 2009, when they combined to shoot 4-23 from long range.
The Hawks aren't horrible offensively -- they rank 12th in offensive efficiency on the season -- and there are no obvious excuses for tonight's performance, as they had two days off to prepare for the game and just beat the Miami Heat on Tuesday night. Center Al Horford did not play with an ankle injury, his first game missed so far this season, but that hardly justifies the performance put up by his teammates.