Atlanta Hawks 92, Portland Trail Blazers 89: So Is This Team Good Or What?

Its the inevitable question that many Hawks fans want to ask but are afraid to because they are scared that as soon as they get used to the idea things will fall apart once again. The only advice I can offer is don't ask the question just keep enjoying the victories and each and every test that this team passes along the way. For whatever reason, this team looks happy to be on the court together and when teams are making runs at them they no longer blink. We certainly haven't always been able to say that.

Larry Drew acknowledged after the game that the pieces are fitting together nicely for this team. The challenge as Jason pointed out after the game is sustaining that because at some point things are going to get difficult.

"It really feels like these guys are starting to get a feel for one another," Larry Drew said. "In the first half felt like we had a good flow with the starters and reserves. A few times in the second half we fell out of rhythm but guys are starting to mesh together. Any combination I put on the floor we seem to have some kind of chemistry. We feel like the players we have brought in complement the players that have been here."

This group of Hawks with a more balanced and experienced bench looks like it may be in good shape to handle those pit falls when they arise.

Victory Bullets:

  • The first sign of a matchup problem in the wake of Al Horford's injury was on display Wednesday as the Hawks tried to deal with LaMarcus Aldridge. When matched with Jason Collins or Zaza Pachulia, Aldridge drifted to the perimeter with his solid face up game. When matched with Josh Smith, Aldridge tried to overpower him in the post. Smith did well enough making things tough for Aldridge inside and Zaza contested hard but it completely took Collins out of his element.
  • Even without Al Horford, Atlanta out rebounded the Trail Blazers 47-41 and I thought did a great job down the stretch of holding Portland to one shot.
  • Jannero Pargo deserves mention for hitting all four of his shots in the second quarter and providing a spark for the Hawks until the starters could find a rhythm.
  • Marvin Williams had another solid night finishing with 12 points and eight boards in just under 21 minutes of action. Marvin could probably stand to receive a few more minutes but the Hawks are deep right now and Drew opted to ride McGrady down the stretch.
  • Vladimir Radmanovic received a DNP-CD. He also didn't get into the game on Monday against the Raptors until the second half. We may be seeing Larry Drew rethinking him as a power forward and more of a small forward particularly against teams with bigger front lines like Portland. Ivan Johnson provides more muscle at the power forward position and if Marvin Williams and Tracy McGrady are healthy then the minutes might be scarce for Vlad Rad.
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