RECAP: Blazers 100, Hawks 85

David Vertsberger —  March 27, 2014

FINAL

POR(46-27) 100 – 85 (31-40)ATL

Key Performers:
LaMarcus Aldridge (POR): 25 pts, 16 reb
Jeff Teague (ATL): 22 pts, 3 reb
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The Hawks fell behind early, pushing back with two runs in the latter half that eventually fell short as Atlanta drops their fifth in a row. For most of the night, the Hawks starting five was their best lineup, cutting into a colossal halftime lead for Atlanta’s first “comeback” of the night. After the Blazers responded, it was Lou Williams stepping up to keep the Hawks within striking distance, but to no avail. Once again the Hawks couldn’t connect from downtown with Korver and now Antic out with injury, shooting 4-22 on the evening.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Paul Millsap: Millsap had another tough outing, unable to find his best looks with little spacing. Paul was forced to take a large amount of poor perimeter shots, leading to a horrid 3-15 shooting night. Another factor could have been exercising a majority of his effort on defense, where he guarded LaMarcus Aldridge for most of the contest. Millsap was solid in this regard, forcing Aldridge into tough mid-range looks. 4/10

Jeff Teague: Teague was extremely aggressive tonight, constantly looking for seams into the lane and putting up every shot that looked appealing. He played with an extra shot of swagger, throwing one-handed bullet passes and at one point sizing up his defender with some streetball dribbles. The frivolous things aside, Teague finished 10-18 from the field and scored 22 points in 37 minutes. 9/10

Elton Brand: Budenholzer 3:17 says, “Amassing the plague of injuries in such dire times, God sent forth a descendant from the heavens, a savior for the troubled Hawks. The bearer of 42 great angel wings, his holiness, Elton Brand.” Amen. 10/10

DeMarre Carroll: Carroll stuck to his script, scoring 11 and grabbing 4 boards shooting nearly perfectly from the field, 5-of-6. During the broadcast, ‘Nique noted DeMarre’s floater that’s been a recent addition to his game when he dropped one through in the first quarter. Atlanta’s swiss army knife keeps on getting better. 8/10

Shelvin Mack: Mack started alongside Jeff Teague tonight, his 3-9 shooting night skewed by a couple of last second flings. Impressively, the Blazers weren’t able to take advantage of the obvious mismatch with Mack having to guard Wes Matthews who loves posting up smaller guards. 7/10

Mike Scott: Scott didn’t play much at all, his second-lowest minute count since late December. In his 13-minute stint Scott was 0-3, grabbing 3 rebounds and falling prey to the Blazers offense. NA/10

Dennis Schröder: Dennis played 11 minutes and was, just, meh. NA/10

Mike Muscala: Muscala played another heavy-minute night, once again not bringing it defensively and shooting 3-9 from the field, but did help in Atlanta’s second push late in the contest. Adjusting to the NBA athleticism could be what’s holding Muscala back defensively, but we can’t know for sure anytime soon really. If there’s anything concrete here, it’s that developing a second-round pick in the midst of a seeding push is bad, but unavoidable, timing. 3/10

Lou Williams: Lou got off on the wrong foot, but starting knocking down shots with the game nearing it’s conclusion and the Hawks seemingly out of reach. His 16 points mostly came in the final quarter, and he led the Hawks back to single digits with some vintage Williams scoring. Sadly, his play wasn’t enough, but a strong effort out of Lou nonetheless. 9/10

Coach Budenholzer: Coach Bud went with Mack and Teague in the backcourt to start, a move I applauded right off the bat. This toned down turnovers and maintained a fluid Hawks offense, as well as helped with some of the spacing issues. He also relied heavily on the three-guard lineup tonight, which I’m not a fan of, but it helped the Hawks come back in the last few minutes. With Horford, Korver and now Antic out, Budenhozler is making the most with the least. 9/10

The opposition: The Blazers offense carried them, with extra help off the bench from Thomas Robinson’s 10 points and MO Williams’s 8. Their dominance on the board, backed by the strong rebounding tandem of Aldridge and Lopez, was also a key factor in coming away with this one. 9/10

Next: Atlanta vs Wizards, Saturday, March 29th

David Vertsberger

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