Archives For Portland Trail Blazers

Sean Meagher | The Oregonian/OregonLive

The Atlanta Hawks returned to winning ways with a 109-104 overtime victory against the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night at the Moda Center. The Blazers, as they so often have been, were led by Damian Lillard’s and C.J. McCollum’s 21 and 26 points respectively. The Hawks were led by Tim Hardaway Jr.’s team high 25 points while Paul Millsap added 21 points and Dennis Schröder added 22 points.

Paul “Clutch” Millsap takes the Hawks to overtime and beyond

This was not the prettiest offensive game for the Hawks but they managed to slow down the Blazers’ offense and recovered from a double digit deficit to give themselves a chance to win this game. Some great defense, after a few agonising offensive rebounds for the Blazers, by Tim Hardaway Jr. on C.J. McCollum — followed by a defensive rebound by Prince — gave the Hawks the opportunity to possibly win the game or take the game to overtime.

People give THJ a lot of stick for his defense (sometimes it’s warranted) but give him credit here.

However, Atlanta still found themselves trailing by two points with just 2.2 seconds remaining, in need of a bucket to save this game. Enter, Paul Millsap.

At. The. Buzzer.

Continue Reading…

On a night featuring divergent streaks, the Atlanta Hawks won their fourth in a row, while handing Portland a fourth consecutive loss, 106-97 at Philips Arena.

Dennis Scroder may be short a tooth, but he still led Atlanta in scoring with 18. The third-year guard’s tooth was jarred loose on Monday night. Schroder’s response? Sock it. Joining Dennis in double-figures for the 18-12 Hawks were Thabo Sefolosha (13 points), Jeff Teague (13), Mike Scott (13), Paul Millsap (12) and Kent  Bazemore (12).

New acquisition Tiago Splitter, who noted his satisfaction in being reunited with Coach Budenholzer pre-game, added an efficient eight points and two steals.

Portland was led in scoring by Allen Crabbe (19) and Maurice Harkless (14). Though the Trail Blazers out rebounded the Hawks 50-31, Atlanta limited Portland to just 5-of-24 Shooting from 3-point territory. Continue Reading…

This looked like it would be the night.

First, Portland’s Damian Lillard was left off of a stacked Western Conference All-Star team. Later, it was announced that DeMarre Carroll would not play due to an Achilles strain. Finally — when the game started — Carroll’s replacement, Thabo Sefolosha, came up limping after a blown layup and was later diagnosed with a calf strain. He did not return.

it seemed as if Portland was not going to miss early after they started 7-for-8 from 3-point range. After Atlanta had put together a mini-rally to close the first half, Portland responded with Steve Blake banking in a corner 3-pointer at the buzzer. That bank seemed like it would be it; this was going to finally be the end of the Hawks’ win streak.

But when the dust settled after 48 minutes, the Hawks ended the day with a 105-99 win and the best record in the NBA.

Paul Millsap scored 21 points and Al Horford pitched in with 17 as the Hawks were able to overcome 37 points from LaMarcus Aldridge. The win represented the Hawks 18th win in a row, a streak that is tied for the ninth best in NBA history.

“We’re a resilient group,” said Horford on the adversity the Hawks faced in the game. “We just kept fighting, got stops when we needed to and really got into a good rhythm offensively.”

One of the main guys who kept fighting was Kent Bazemore, who played a career-high 40 minutes in the wake of the injuries to Carroll and Sefolosha. Bazemore recored 12 points on 5-for-6 shooting, five rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block. Continue Reading…

The second game of a back to back in Portland screamed “schedule loss” to me. The Trail Blazers are an exceptional team and play well in front of their raucous home crowd; only another exceptional team would be able to take them down in their home arena.

And we are learning that the 2014-15 Hawks are that kind of exceptional team.

Paul Millsap scored 27 points and Jeff Teague added 22 points to lead the Hawks to a 115-107 victory in Portland on Saturday night. The win gave the Hawks their fourth in a row and their 18th in their last 20 games. It also gave the Hawks a full-game cushion on the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

The game did not look like it was going to go the Hawks’ way early; Portland opened with an 8-0 that started with Nicolas Batum sinking a hotly contested 3-pointer. After a timeout, the Hawks came out rolling, going on a 29-12 run to close the quarter and establish a lead.

Portland responded in the second quarter thanks to their 3-point shooting. Led by Dorell Wright from off of the bench, the Blazers shot 5-for-7 from behind the arc in the quarter, where they put up 29 points of their own. Portland had the Atlanta lead down to just one point, but Paul Millsap hit a couple of free throws to give the Hawks a 52-49 lead heading into halftime. Continue Reading…

The Hawks dropped to 0-3 in Summer League play with a 91-76 loss to the Trail Blazers, mostly thanks to the hot shooting of Portland’s CJ McCollum and Will Barton. Of course, we’re not interested in what happened on the Portland side. Here’s what I saw from the Hawks’ best prospects:

  • Dennis Schröder again looked confident in trying to score, even if he did not have quite the success of Sunday’s 30 point game. He did not attempt a 3-pointer, but his takes to the basket were decisive and well-finished. I liked most of his passing, but he did end up with six turnovers thanks to some old-fashioned, Summer League sloppiness. However, he did have this nice alley-oop pass to Mike Muscala in the second half.
  • John Jenkins did not play in the second half in what was likely after-effects of his back-injury from the past year. Jenkins only played eight minutes in the first half, scoring no points and accumulating three fouls. Jenkins’ future status with the team is becoming less and less concrete as time passes. It may seems harsh since he is coming off of a back injury, but I see no reason why the team should pick up his option for next season.
  • Mike Muscala was probably the team’s best player in this game, putting up 13 points and seven rebounds in 25 minutes. Despite the team having trouble on defense as a unit, I liked what Muscala was doing for most the game; he still has some learning to do, but he length helps a lot when he just tries to get vertical in defending shots. Muscala was also 1-for-2 on 3-point attempts and he has commented that he is making a concerted effort to improve that aspect of his game. Being a big that can shoot 3s is an easy way to get playing time in Mike Budenholzer’s offense.
  • Continue Reading…

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
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According to the AJC’s Chris Vivlamore, Kyle Korver did not travel with the team to Minnesota and will not play Wednesday against the Timberwolves. It is currently unknown if Korver will be able to play for Thursday’s night home game against the Portland Trail Blazers.

This is a huge blow to the Hawks, who have lost three straight games and are shooting just 21-for-71 (30%) from three-point range. That isn’t necessarily from lack of open looks either; the Hawks just haven’t been able to connect from deep like they usually do and the absence of Korver is a big part of that.

According to Vivlamore, Coach Bud will go with Mike Scott in the starting lineup instead of Shelvin Mack. Scott will play small forward, pushing DeMarre Carroll into the two-spot. Expect to see a lot of Lou Williams as well, who played great in Monday’s night loss to the Phoenix Suns. The Hawks will also need Pero Antic to play well, as he is a big component with the team’s spacing.

without-an-accident2

“That boy is our last hope.” -Obi Wan Kenobi

Two seasons. 127 games. 337 three-point field goals. And thousands and thousands of off-ball screens.

And now the end.

Kyle Korver’s 0-for-5 performance from behind the arc against the Trail Blazers on Wednesday marked the first time he played a game without making a three-pointer since November 2, 2012. That game was against the Houston Rockets, Korver’s first game in a Hawk uniform after being acquired from the Chicago Bulls that summer. Continue Reading…

FINAL

POR(42-19) 102 – 78 (26-33)ATL   

Key Performers:
N. Batum (POR): 14 pts, 18 reb
C. Martin (ATL): 16 pts, 6 reb, 3 stl
[FULL BOX SCORE]

You know…nobody actually expected the Hawks to win this game. There was a hope that they might be able to pull out an upset thanks to their ball movement and 3 point shooting. The Blazers aren’t exactly a good defensive team, maybe if the ball is moving fast enough and the shots are falling then they have a chance. Of course, it didn’t go that way. I feel this tweet from @fergoe on twitter describes it perfectly.

Of course the Hawks had to lay a giant egg on national TV. It’s the Hawks way. Yes, the Blazers were a better team but when they start off the game missing every single wide open look created, you know they’re about to do something awful.

Reaction grades [assessed 0-10]:

Jeff Teague: Teague really tried to be aggressive tonight. He attacked his defenders, he was trying to move the ball and get the offense going during some of the lowest moments of the game. I’ll give him points for trying but he was largely unsuccessful at it. To top everything off he had a pass that’s up there for one of the worst ones all season. Not a good game by any stretch. 3/10

DeMarre Carroll: Carroll had a horrible game on the offensive side of the ball. Was extremely overmatched by anybody that happened to be guarding him. On defense he struggled keeping up with his matchups off ball. He did his usual things like rebound and set screens but he just didn’t have enough of a positive contribution to justify giving him a good grade. 4/10

Kyle Korver: The streak is over at 127. Korver was swarmed by defenders and couldn’t hit the few open looks he got. That’s it for how his game went. I just want to say how cool it was to see someone on a night to night basis make NBA history. I got to see Korver set the record to triple digits in person when he was in Orlando and it’s a basketball memory I’m going to always remember. I’m honestly bummed his streak had to end, but all streaks have to end eventually. :(/10

Elton Brand:If one good thing came out of tonight, it’s that Elton Brand didn’t have to play another huge minute night. 20 minutes where Brand went 3-for-6 from the field. On defense he was a large part of holding LaMarcus Aldridge to 1-for-13 shooting and deserves tons of credit for that. 7/10

Mike Scott: Scott couldn’t get anything going all night on offense. LaMarcus Aldrige and Robin Lopez shut him down. On the other side of things, Scott worked with Brand to make sure Aldridge didn’t score himself so he gets points for that. 5/10 Continue Reading…

The injured Hawks started their west coast road trip with a loss against the Phoenix Suns. While losing to the Suns is not a bad thing these days, it’s the overall picture that makes it a rough loss. The Hawks have lost 11 of their last 12 largely due to injuries and tired legs. February and March is a rough time for any NBA team. Throw in injuries and you’re gonna have some problems. That’s why this upcoming road trip is so huge for the Hawks. They don’t have to win every single game, but a single win over the next three could go a long way.

It won’t be an easy road with the Hawks playing in Portland tonight to take on the Blazers. While Portland has appeared to have fallen back down to earth a bit, they are still one of the better teams in the NBA using an arsenal of – point shooters. They use LaMarcus Aldridge and his mid-range shooting ability to space the floor for their 3-point shooters. The Blazers problem is their defense is far from good and their bench isn’t that great.

Were the Hawks at full strength I’d say they had a really good chance at winning and possibly even be the favorites. However, no Horford, Millsap likely out, no Antic, and no Ayon, leaves them in a tight spot. They finally have three big men on the roster, but they’ve gone from having two all stars, a serviceable vet in Elton Brand, and a serviceable rookie to playing the vet major minutes while trying to scrape by on big men that were at the end of the bench earlier in the season. That is not an ideal situation for any team. Continue Reading…