First a little ditty from Slam Online comparing the Blazers and the Hawks as being stuck below the coveted Elite Level.
We can all agree that the Hawks and Blazers are both very good teams with a lot of talented players. But the two clubs always seem to be just below contending status in the second tier of their respective conferences. Atlanta and Portland both have really good players who can’t be considered great; just below what I would consider the top tier of elite NBA players.
MC reports that the Hawks are doing everything they can to prevent the flu bug that has bitten several teams from spreading through the Hawks locker room:
"I know it's been going around," Drew said. "I know some teams have really been hit hard by it. We just hope that's not the case with us, that Zaza is OK and none of our other guys pick it up."
The game probably won't be sufficient to kill off the conflation of effort and defensive effectiveness but it should put a damper on efforts to draw a direct correlation between the two. The Hawks did not lack for effort tonight. The Hawks lacked for quality defenders.
Smoove said he could have helped shut down the corner 3-pointers that Jefferson and Hill buried. "A couple of blown coverages when I went out of the game," he said. "It’s always frustrating when you know you can help your team but I just wasn’t able to shake off those cramps."
"They are one of the better pick-and-roll teams in our league," Drew said. "Parker, he is just really good at it. He is one of the best in the league because of the speed, the quickness. He reads the defenses really well coming off the pick-and-roll."