A four-game western road trip begins for the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night with a stop in Portland to face the Trail Blazers in a nationally televised contest. Atlanta has looked sharp following home wins over the Brooklyn Nets and the Orlando Magic. That hasn't been the story on the road where the Hawks have dropped two straight and sit at 10-10 on the season.
The trip is an opportunity for Atlanta to gain some separation in the East given that all four opponents on the trip have less than .500 records.
The Trail Blazers sit at 19-25 on the season but are coming off of a dominant win in Washington on Monday. Atlanta took the first meeting between the two clubs 106-97 at Philips Arena in late December but Portland was without its two top scorers in Damien Lillard and C.J. McCollum. The duo combined for 41 points and eight made three-pointers in Monday's win over the Wizards.
If the Hawks are to put a string of wins together then they are going to have to figure out a way to stop their road woes. Atlanta has recorded an offensive rating of 106.0 at home so far this season but that dips to 101.4 away from Philips Arena. Defensively, the Hawks are among the league leaders at home with a 99.1 defensive rating but drop off to 102.4 when they go on the road.
Atlanta has been showing signs of getting it together of late. They have recorded 30+ assists in four of their last six games. They have clamped down defensively as well holding the Nets to 86 points while limiting the Magic to just 81.
The Hawks have been in search of some level of consistency since the start of the 2016 season. We'll find out if a long road trip will provide them the opportunity to finally put it all together.
Game Date/Time: Wednesday, January 20, 10:30 p.m. ET
Location: Moda Center, Portland, Oregon
TV: ESPN, Fox Sports Southeast
Radio: 92.9 "The Game" FM