Expected to be one of the league’s worst teams in 2005-06, the Atlanta Hawks haven’t done much to disprove that in the first week of the season.
The Hawks hope to break into the win column for the first time when they host the Los Angeles Clippers.
With Tuesday’s 103-97 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Hawks dropped to 0-4 for the second consecutive season.
“We need to step back and analyze what we’re doing and what we want to accomplish,” Hawks forward Josh Childress said. “We have to go out and play harder. I think that’s what’s going to get us over the hump.”
After averaging 13.0 points and 7.2 rebounds during the presason and serving as a capable third scoring option behind Al Harrington and Joe Johnson, Childress is only seventh on the team with 9.0 points through four games.
“I thought during the exhibition season he had made a major step forward,” Atlanta coach Mike Woodson said. ”(But) he’s having a rough time lately.”
The Hawks ended their season-opening four-game losing streak last season with a win in their fifth game, a task that will be difficult to repeat against the improved Clippers.
Elton Brand helped the Clippers rebound from their first loss of the season, scoring 31 points on 14-of-18 shooting in a 102-97 victory at Washington on Wednesday.
Brand also had 13 rebounds for the 181st double-double of his career, tying him with Loy Vaught for the Clippers’ franchise record.
“They’ve got some big, talented guys who love to bang, so I was having to fight for every shot,” Brand said. “I was hitting them, but I had to fight for every one.
“Coach was calling my number. If he keeps calling those plays, I’m going to keep putting them up, for sure.”
The Clippers have won five straight against the Hawks after losing the previous three meetings.
STANDINGS (through Nov. 9): Clippers - 1st place, Pacific Division. Hawks - 5th place, 3 GB, Southeast Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Clippers - Brand, 20.0 ppg and 8.5 rpg; Cassell, 6.3 apg. Hawks - Johnson, 19.0 ppg and 4.8 apg; Harrington, 9.5 rpg.
SEASON SERIES: Clippers, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Nov. 4; Clippers, 92-77. At Los Angeles, Mobley scored 19 points and reserve James Singleton had 13 points and 13 rebounds, helping the Clippers win their home opener.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Clippers - 2-1 on the road; Hawks - 0-1 at home.