Archives For Wes Matthews

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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FINAL

POR(33-36) 104 – 93 (38-31) ATL

Key Performers:
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

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