Ten observations from sitting on my couch and watching Blazers 110, Hawks 89. . .
1. Fox Sports Southeast sideline reporter Andre Aldridge said Hawks players were perturbed because the Blazers were so incredulous about their loss in Atlanta last weekend. If the Hawks were motivated by that it didn’t show.
2. The Hawks rallied to make it a game in the second quarter before getting buried in the third as Portland collected seven steals and scored 30 points on 22 shots. The Blazers finished off the Hawks with a 9-0 run to open the fourth.
3. The Blazers ranked just 27th in offensive efficiency before tonight. But they have a dynamic backcourt in Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum and those two took it to the Hawks: combined 34 points on 28 shots in 59 minutes. Kent Bazemore and Dennis Schroder tried to match those two but couldn’t.
4. Bazemore (seven points on nine shots, two turnovers, no assists in 24 minutes) was aggressive early but faded late. Schroder (14 points on 14 shots, four assists, four turnovers in 22 minutes) got his usual drives to the basket with mixed results.
5. Taurean Prince’s offensive game probably had become too perimeter-oriented lately. Tonight he was back to attacking the basket and produced 11 points on 11 shots in 24 minutes. Prince also had eight rebounds but his defensive closeouts weren’t very sharp.
6. John Collins seemed a bit off with his timing all night. He was little late jumping for rebounds and blocked shots, a little out of position when rolling or cutting to the basket and tardy with his passes. Collins also took (and missed) two three-point attempts after he’d taken (and missed) two all season.
7. Miles Plumlee was rolling hard to the basket, drawing defensive attention and then passing to open teammates. Both of his field goals were dunks. At the other end Plumlee and his teammates had trouble handling Portland’s strong and skilled 7-footer, Jusuf Nurkic (11 points on eight shots, nine rebounds in 22 minutes).
8. It seems so long ago that Isaiah Taylor was aggressive and effective offensively. But he’s almost always a defensive plus, especially when applying ball pressure when playing alongside fellow pest Malcolm Delaney.
9. Mike Muscala, Luke Babbitt and Tyler Dorsey all got garbage-time burn. Muscala played in his first game since Nov. 3. Babbitt has fallen out of the rotation. Dorsey has played in just 12 games.
10. The Hawks recalled DeAndre’ Bembry from the G-League before the game and then listed him on the injury report with a groin injury. He wasn’t with the team for the game.
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