Feb 15, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Portland Trailblazers guardDamian Lillard
(0) dunks during the 2014 NBA All Star dunk contest at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Ronald Martinez/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports
Date: March 5, 2014
Tip-Off Time: 10:30 p.m.
TV Channel: ESPN!!!, NBA League Pass
Radio: 92.9 FM (Atlanta Flagship), Atlanta Hawks Radio Network Affiliates
Live Stream: League Pass Broadband
After a 129-120 loss to the Phoenix Suns Sunday night, the Atlanta Hawks (26-32) continue their west coast trip with a game against the Portland Trailblazers (41-19).
This game really has the potential to be terrible for Atlanta. They just let the Suns cruise to their season high in points and they are going to take on the best offensive team in the NBA. The Trailblazers are first in points per game, scoring 107.8 each time they hit the court. Comparatively, the Hawks–an above-average offensive team–score just 101.9 per game.
The defensive struggles aren’t likely to get any better until Paul Millsap can get back in the lineup, and he was completely absent in the loss to the Suns. Even with Jeff Teague scoring in the upper 20s, the Hawks just haven’t had enough firepower to compensate for their defensive inefficiences. And that’s probably part of the problem–they can’t expect to just out-shoot everyone. At some point they are going to have to learn to play defense, or they are just going to continue losing games.
There’s not really one player to pick out as “the guy” for this Portland team, as each of the five starters are averaging double-digit points and the team is also the 5th best team at moving the ball around, according to assists. LaMarcus Aldridge is quietly averaging a double-double with 23.7 points and 11.2 rebounds per game (both team highs). Nicolas Batum‘s also got that potential, and he’s coming off of a 17-point, 15-rebound game.
This is going to be a tough one for the Hawks.
For more information on the game be sure to follow us on twitter (@ATLBeatBlog) and also check back after the game for a full recap.