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Game Thread #55: Hawks @ Blazers


An insight into my recent post Hawks/Blazer routine.

Next Game

Atlanta Hawks
@ Portland Trail Blazers

Friday, Feb 20, 2009, 10:00 PM EST
The Rose Garden

Complete Coverage >

WHO: Atlanta (32-22) at Portland (33-20)

WHERE: Sports South, Hawks Radio Network, NBA Audio League Pass

Hawks Injury Report: None except some dude named Craig. Flip Murray should be back. I found that out through twitter (no big deal).

Blazers Injury Report: Greg Oden is out.

Blogging With the Enemy: Blazers Edge (which has an excellent game preview up). Blaze of Love.

Predicted bane of the Hawks existence: So many options. That is why I hate the Blazers. On any one night a new guy could beat you up and not even feel bad about it afterward, but I am going outside the box a little with Sergio Rodriguez. I can only assume if Flip is back Acie will have plenty of time to take in the Rose Garden from the bench. That means Sergio will have plenty of time to live in the lane and make easy layups as Josh Smith sits on the bench with two fouls.

Game Preview:

  1. I have heard a lot of nice things about the city of Portland, but the number one reason I would want to live there? It seems like a great NBA city. Atlanta chamber of commerce take note.
  2. Try to follow this one. I think Brandon Roy is a more athletic (and smaller) version of Joe Johnson who does not do the things that any version of Joe would do better than Joe himself does them but Brandon makes decisions and involves the team the way I wish Joe would.
  3. I really wanted to watch Greg Oden tonight. Only a Hawks win will satisfy that entertainment gap for me. All the more reason to get the post game drink ready...
  4. I know God does not care about who wins and loses basketball games, but maybe He cares about rebounding. Because Lord knows, the Hawks are going to need help in that department tonight.
  5. Marvin loves playing in the northwest. Strictly based on that very subjective reality, I am predicting a big game from him. Suck on that John Hollinger.
  6. I am very worried Josh Smith is going to watch LeMarcus Aldridge take long jumpers and think, because he is guarding him, it is ok for him to do the same thing.
  7. The Blazers don't enjoy beating the Hawks. They enjoy crushing our hopes and dreams. It is hard for me to get excited about this game because I still have nightmares from the two last season. I said in the west coast road trip preview, I don't have high hopes for this game, but that is simply a defense mechanism. What I am trying to say is this preview is tainted by the overarching meanness of Portland.

All that being said, without Oden, the Hawks match up pretty well with this team. To bring home a victory will take more than the normal effort though. The normal effort meaning out rebounded, bad foul shooting, and three of five starters not being on their game.

In recent weeks, the Hawks have shown two things: they can beat anyone when they are on (even if the other team is too) and lose to anyone when they are not (even if the other team isn't either). They have the true blessing and curse of being able to beat another teams best and worst. So here is rooting for their best tonight.

I won't be in the comments until the second half, but I hope you find yourself there early and often.

Go Hawks!