The Hawks struggled to score on an afternoon where they rested Speedy Claxton (his knees already sore after two pre-season games) and were without the injured Tyronn Lue (knee) and Acie Law IV (scheduled for an MRI on his left wrist today). Fourth and fifth string point guards Anthony Johnson and Jamaal Tatum both struggled (somehow combining for 15 shot attempts, making 5) as the Blazers dared the Hawks (also without Josh Childress and Salim Stoudamire) to make jump shots against their zone.
"They played zone practically the whole game. And if you can't make an outside shot, they're going to stay in it."Far more disturbingly, Johnson also said:
"Honestly, I think our bigs took their bigs lightly and they just got outplayed."Atlanta couldn't handle LaMarcus Aldridge (29 points on 18 shots, 11 rebounds) at all. Al Horford had 14, 11, and 3 off the bench so I assume Johnson is talking about some combination of Pachulia, Marvin Williams, and Josh Smith each of whom I like but none of whom should possess the temerity to take anyone lightly.
The Hawks return to action Tuesday night against the Timberwolves.