Lloyd Pierce was fired as the Atlanta Hawks coach on Monday after the team started the season 14-20. Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

ATLANTA — Atlanta Hawks Coach Lloyd Pierce was fired on Monday following a disappointing start to a season of heightened expectations.

Hawks President Travis Schlenk announced the move in a short statement released by the team.

The Hawks are 14-20 and 11th in the Eastern Conference, following a 109-99 loss at Miami on Sunday night. The teams play again in Miami on Tuesday.

“We would like to thank Lloyd for his work and commitment to not only the Hawks organization but the city of Atlanta,” Schlenk said in the statement.

Schlenk said the move, which comes less than a week before Atlanta hosts the All-Star Game, is timed to help the team enjoy a second-half resurgence.

“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,” Schlenk said.

Pierce, hired in 2018, was 63-120 (.344) with the Hawks, missing the playoffs in each of his two completed seasons.

The Hawks named Nate McMillan interim coach. McMillan, the former Indiana Pacers coach, was added to Pierce’s staff in the offseason. McMillan has a 661-588 record with Seattle, Portland and Indiana.

McMillan filled in for Pierce when Pierce was recently away from the team while his wife was giving birth. The Hawks were 2-1 with McMillan during Pierce’s absence.

RAPTORS-PISTONS: Toronto’s game against Detroit that was scheduled for Tuesday is being postponed until Wednesday, a move that the NBA hopes gives the Raptors time to get back onto the floor.

The Raptors were scheduled to play Chicago on Sunday and that game was postponed indefinitely because of positive tests and contact tracing issues. The league cautioned that Wednesday is a tentative rescheduling date for the game against the Pistons, and is “pending additional test results.”

Tuesday’s game becomes the 31st postponed this season because at least one team was unable to play in accordance with the league’s health and safety policies related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Raptors have been without Coach Nick Nurse and five other staff members since late last week because of virus-related issues. Starting forward Pascal Siakam has also been placed on the team’s protocols list.


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