The Atlanta Hawks have fired head coach Lloyd Pierce after a 14-20 start to the season, the team announced on Monday.
Pierce was in the middle of his third season with the team. He was hired ahead of the 2018-19 season after previously serving as an assistant with the 76ers and the Grizzlies.
“We would like to thank Lloyd for his work and commitment to not only the Hawks organization but the city of Atlanta,” general manager Travis Schlenk said in a statement. “He and his wife, Melissa, are tremendous people who have made a positive impact throughout the city. We have high expectations for our team on the court and we believe by making this change now that we can have a strong second half of the season.”
The Hawks won just 49 games throughout Pierce's first two seasons. And entering this season, the team had higher expectations after one of the most active offseasons in the NBA. Heading into this year, the team added Rajon Rondo, Danilo Gallinari, Kris Dunn, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Solomon Hill in free agency. The veterans joined a core that also featured John Collins and Clint Capela and a number of developing young players in Trae Young, DeAndre Hunter, Cam Reddish and Kevin Huerter.
The Hawks have two games before the All-Star break and currently possess have a bottom-third defense in the NBA, allowing 112.9 points per 100 possessions.
Veteran coach Nate McMillan, who joined the team as an assistant this past offseason but was previously the head coach of the Indiana Pacers, recently coached the team for two games after Pierce returned home for the birth of his second child.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, McMillan has accepted the interim head coaching job.
Atlanta is currently No. 11 in the Eastern Conference.