(33-36) 104 – 93 (38-31)
W. Matthews (PDX): 28 pts, 4 reb, 2 ast
J. Teague (ATL): 21 pts, 7 ast, 2 stl
[FULL BOX SCORE]
I guess the Hawks do read my stuff, because they did the same thing that I did in my recent three game recap: completely skip over the Blazers.
“Breakdowns” was the word for Larry Drew in post game when talking about the 2nd half, as he was completely disgusted with his team’s effort on the defensive end. Portland shot 8-for-11 from behind the arc in the 2nd half, largely due to missed defensive assignments and slow rotations. While the Atlanta offense was able to keep up during the third, they just couldn’t keep it going, and were outscored 31-17 over the final period. Lack of fourth quarter offense and a sieve of a defense? Sounds like the Hawks are really missing Lou Williams and Zaza Pachulia.
Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]
Josh Smith: Once upon a time, after three quarters, Josh Smith was shooting 9-for-16 from the field and was getting a lot of good looks near the basket. (aka: DUNKS!) However, in the fourth quarter, it was… bleh! Josh was 0-for-5 in the fourth quarter, and took some of the most head-scratching jumpers that I’ve ever seen him take. He did make all four of his foul shots in the final period (ending up 6-for-10 for the night), but for an important stretch of the game, Josh actively shot the Hawks into a loss. 5/10
Al Horford: As inefficient as Josh was, it wasn’t like Al was doing him any favors with the shooting. The Hawks were aggressively looking to get Horford open looks, but Al left a lot of them short. He wound up with one of his worst shooting nights of the year, going 7-for-18 from the floor. However, Al was the team’s strongest rebounder, coming down with 17 rebounds. He also was an extremely active passer, which his five assists don’t adequately reflect. 7.5/10
Kyle Korver: If he’s not making shots, then Korver really isn’t helping you that much. He did get one three-pointer to drive his streak to 62 games, but overall, he missed quite a few easy looks that led to the Hawks offense stalling. 3/10
DeShawn Stevenson: Speaking of missed open shots, DeShawn Stevenson, everybody! And his defense was exactly helping either, as he let Wes Matthews (!) go off on him for 14 in the third quarter; not what you want out of your defensive stopper. 2/10
Jeff Teague: JT was the best player on the floor tonight for the Hawks, but he made a few key turnovers in the fourth quarter, including one where it didn’t even look like he was paying attention when Al Horford passed him the ball. This shouldn’t completely take away from Jeff’s night, because he was the only effective scorer in the fourth quarter. However, like Josh’s jumpers late in the fourth, those TOs came at a critical time in the fourth that make you wonder what the Hawks could have done if they were avoided. 8.5/10