Preview: Hawks @ Blazers

Atlanta Hawks v Miami Heat
Dennis Schroder (Hawks.com)

Preview: ATL (10-27 ) @ POR (19-18) 1/5/18 10:30 PM Moda Center, Portland, OR. 

The Atlanta Hawks are coming off the most shocking loss of the season in which they led by 9 Points with under 2 Minutes to go in the game. It was the biggest comeback (% likely to win wise) according to ESPN in the entire NBA this season.

After dominating most of the first 46 minutes, the Hawks committed a comedy of errors en route to their 104-103 loss. All of the following happened in the final two minutes:

Back to Back missed Free Throws, Fouled Booker on a 3 Point Attempt, Reckless Offensive Foul by Dennis Schroder, Taurean Prince Dunk Attempt Blocked and most notably, the insane brain fart by Dennis Schroder. With time winding down and down 3 points, the Hawks inbounded the ball and had to go the length of the court. Dennis proceeded to drive all the way to the hoop and laid it up for 2 with .9 seconds remaining. Only one problem. The Hawks were still down one. The clock expired before they could even foul Phoenix. If Dennis pulled up when he got around the 3 Point Line he would of had a decent look. In addition, Prince was wide open on the opposite side and just so happens to be shooting over 40% from Three this season.

At the end of the day however, the Hawks played a great game for 46 minutes and that can not be forgotten. Credit the Suns for not laying down in dire situations.

Ersan led the losing effort with 21 while Dennis and Bazemore each had 20. Devin Booker and TJ Warren each had 30+ for the Suns. Marquese Chriss had what may have been the game saving block on Taurean Prince.

After losing in Atlanta this past Saturday, the Blazers wrapped up their East Coast road trip with a win in Chicago and 127-110 loss in Cleveland.

Lillard missed the game in Atlanta but will be good to go in this matchup. That coupled with playing in front of the fierce Moda Center crowd will make this game a bit harder to win than Saturday’s.

Key Matchup

The Backcourt

Portland’s backcourt is one of the most explosive in the league. You can put them right in the conversation with Beal/Wall, Lowry/Derozan and Curry/Thompson. You aren’t going to stop them but it will be vital for Dennis and Bazemore to slow them down. If you don’t defend, Lillard and/or CJ could go off for 40 on any given night.

 

Injury Report

Hawks

DeWayne Dedmon- Out

Blazers

Noah Vonleh- Day To Day

 

Collins (@JameelahNBA)
Collins Baptizes Luke Kennard (@JameelahNBA Twitter)

Three Keys to the Game

1. Defend The Backcourt

It goes without saying, but the dynamic duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are Portland’s strength. It will be vital for Dennis Schroder and Kent Bazemore to hold their own against them.

2. No Carryover from Tuesday

The Hawks choked hard down the stretch on Tuesday. The team can not let that carry over into this game.

3. Hit Open Shots

For the majority of the season the Hawks have managed to hit three’s and jump shots at a high rate. When jump shots aren’t falling at a high rate, the rest of the offense grinds to a halt.

Projected Starters

Hawks

Guard – Dennis Schroder

Guard – Kent Bazemore

Forward – Taurean Prince

Forward – Ersan Ilyasova

Center – Miles Plumlee

Blazers

Guard – Damian Lillard

Guard- CJ McCollum

Forward – Evan Turner

Forward – Al Farouq Aminu

Center – Jusef Nurkic

Game Info

Tip Off: 10:30 PM ET

TV: Fox Sports Southeast

Radio: 92.9 The Game

Prediction: Blazers 106 Hawks 93

Next Five Games

@ LAL 1/7 9:30 PM

@ LAC 1/8 10:30 PM

@ DEN 1/10 9:00 PM

Vs BKN 1/12 7:30 PM

Vs SAS 1/15 3:00 PM NBA TV

Phil Veasley | @_ATLPhil

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Phil Veasley
Phil Veasley is a resident of Atlanta who has been a die-hard Hawks fan since 2005. He is Civil Engineer student at KSU. Currently, Phil writes for Atlanta Hawks Talk while also managing all ATLSportsHQ sites. He can be reached on Twitter at @_ATLPhil

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