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Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce ‘not afraid’ to set playoffs as goal for next season


Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce believes his team should make the playoffs next season.

The Hawks are going to miss the postseason in 2019-20. Despite the down season, Pierce has a lot of confidence in his group and isn’t afraid to set the playoffs as a goal for 2020-21:

“Everything that we do is about our team progressing and going forward,” Pierce said, via The Athletic. “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.

“We are a playoff team. The guys in that room who will be back here understand that. Now it’s about understanding what that means. I’m not an excuse guy; I’m not making excuses. We’re nine games back with 19 to go. Slim chances. It doesn’t mean that we can’t start processing: What does it take for us to become a playoff team? We have to be grittier. We have to be more about team. We have to be more about the commitment to making each other better. We have a ton of talent in that room. We have to combine all of that talent with a relentless effort and relentless pursuit of making each other better and holding each other accountable.”

The Hawks’ core is headlined by Trae Young, John Collins, Clint Capela, Kevin Huerter, Bruno Fernando, Cam Reddish and De’Andre Hunter. Capela has yet to make his Hawks debut. He’s still rehabbing his heel injury.

Atlanta hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2017. We’ll see if next season is the campaign where the Hawks end their drought.

Basketball fans want to see Young in the playoffs. The Hawks All-Star point guard is already one of the most popular players in the NBA despite being just a sophomore in the league.