Trail Blazers @ Hawks Game Thread
Coming off of a frustrating loss to the Bobcats, Portland must now find a way to recapture that momentum they earned by beating Orlando and Miami earlier on this trip. The loss to Charlotte now puts the Blazers' backs against the wall. After the way they started out this road trip, anything less than a 3-1 road trip will be looked at as a disappointment. If Portland beats Charlotte, they play with house money in ATL, but now, the pressure swings into their corner. The Hawks, fresh off of their impressive 90-83 victory in Portland back on February 27th and winners of 4 straight over Portland, look to make life difficult for the visiting Trail Blazers.
For Portland to win, the offense simply needs to flow. Against Charlotte, Portland settled for the outside shot, which is not their game. When the Blazers had things in control, they were forcing it down low or running wing players off of curls for easy buckets in the paint. Atlanta likes their one-on-one matchup with Josh Smith defending Aldridge, so Portland must find ways to get LA going so the doubles will come shortly after, opening up the floor for the rest of the team to operate. Both teams only allow 95 points, so if whomever can break the century barrier first has a great shot at walking away victorious. Also, Crawford was the spark for ATL last meeting, Portland saw what another streak, jump shooter could do tonight as Stephen Jackson single-handily brought them back. Get up in Crawford's face and never let him get into a rhythm. Finally, defensive rebound!continue