Atlanta Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce has been fired after a slow start to a season of heightened expectations.

Atlanta Hawks fire head coach Lloyd Pierce.
In this Monday, Feb. 15, 2021, file photo, Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce calls to his team during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks in New York.
Credit: Jason DeCrow/AP

Hawks president Travis Schlenk announced the move Monday 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.

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

Nate McMillan has been named interim head coach.