Hawks vs Trail Blazers preview: Struggling Atlanta visits the Pacific Northwest

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks continue their west coast trip with a stop in Portland to take on the Trail Blazers.

The Atlanta Hawks continue their road trip with a stop in Portland to take on the Trail Blazers Wednesday night in a nationally televised contest on ESPN.

Atlanta comes into Wednesday's game struggling having lost three straight and 11 of 12. They have fallen to eighth place in the Eastern Conference even after seeing a revival of sorts to their offense. Atlanta is averaging over 108 points a game over their last five but have gone 1-4 over that span. They put up 120 points in a loss to Phoenix on Sunday. The Hawks' defense has become non-existent during that span and allowed 129 points on 55 percent shooting in the loss to the Suns.

Jeff Teague has been a big part in Atlanta's recent offensive surge. He's averaging 25 points and 5.8 assists on 54 percent shooting over his last five games. Teague has been the key on many levels for Atlanta's offensive success this season and him settling into a groove is big as Atlanta closes in on getting some key players back from injury.

Paul Millsap missed his fourth straight game on Sunday due to a knee contusion. He is traveling with the team and getting closer to a return but remains listed as day-to-day. The Hawks are hopeful that he can return to action at some point on the road trip. Pero Antic was in uniform on Sunday but didn't play but should also see action on the trip for the first time since late January when he suffered a stress fracture in his ankle.

Portland presents a difficult challenge to even a healthy team. They are leading the league in points per game at 107.8 and are third in offensive rating at 108.8. Simply put, Atlanta must bring a better defensive effort than they did on Sunday or risk giving up another big offensive performance to an opponent.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Wednesday, March 5, 10:30 p.m. ET

Location: Moda Center, Portland, Oregon

TV: ESPN

Radio: 92.9 "The Game" FM

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