With the halfway point of the 2020-2021 NBA season just about here, teams are beginning to plot some big moves as the playoffs get closer. For some, teams pay attention to the trade market to see which players they could acquire to bolster their chances at a championship run.
For others, they are accepting they aren't good enough and making critical changes for the future. The Atlanta Hawks appear to be in the latter as they've been off to a not-so-hot start to the season so far.
With just 14 wins and 20 losses, the Hawks sit in the 11th seed in the Eastern Conference. Before the year, the Hawks had high hopes of snagging one of the lower seeds in the playoffs. As injuries piled on, the team underwhelmed.
First-year Sixers head coach Doc Rivers knows Pierce well. And on Monday, Rivers revealed he was quite shocked when he heard the news as nobody really saw it coming before it happened.
"I'm really shocked," Rivers revealed on Monday. "I'm really disappointed. I just talked to him, I want to say five days ago, he just had a brand new baby. I mean, this is a tough business, boy, I'll tell you. I always thought it's really difficult in a rebuild."
Rivers then related the Hawks' situation to his days as the Boston Celtics' head coach. During some of his time with the Cs, Boston's front office was apologetic to Rivers as they knew the personnel wasn't great during the rebuild. Therefore, struggles were understood. Pierce was dealing with a similar situation in Atlanta, which injuries contributed to, but he wasn't cut the same amount of slack.
"Most of the rebuilds [around the NBA] unfortunately go the way of Lloyd Pierce where you're in the middle of a rebuild, and then you blame the coach for the losses that you had no chance to win," Rivers continued. "Unfortunately, that's just the way it's worked in our league. It's too bad -- it's tough on coaches -- that's for sure."