Antic Gives Hawks Boost In Return

Thursday, March 6, 2014
By Jaryd Wilson

Atlanta Hawks v Portland Trail Blazers

A few thoughts after tonight’s 102-78 loss to the Blazers:

Hawks vs. Blazers
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Korver’s Streak Ends

– Tonight’s loss took somewhat of a backseat to the storyline that Kyle Korver’s record three-point streak ended at 127 consecutive games.  It certainly didn’t come without a share of good looks, but he went 0-5 from deep and didn’t play in the fourth quarter as Coach Bud opted to rest his starting shooting guard in a game that had already been decided.  It was certainly a remarkable run for Korver, and I’ll have more on the streak as a whole tomorrow.

– The Hawks got some good news (finally) on the injury front as Pero Antic returned to game action for the first time in six weeks.  The Macedonian big man has been sorely missed, as his injury Jan. 22 coincided with the start of Atlanta’s recent skid.  He looked good in his first action back tonight, scoring 10 points on 3-5 shooting and pulling down four rebounds in 16 minutes.  There’s no doubt the Hawks will need him down the stretch if they want to hang on to a playoff spot.

– How about the play of Cartier Martin?  He came off the bench to lead the Hawks with 16 points on 7-14 shooting and grabbed six boards.  Martin’s playing time has been limited, but he certainly showed tonight that he’s a capable backup for DeMarre Carroll, and his play may have bought him a few more minutes off the bench going forward.

– 78 points doesn’t look impressive, but I promise you this was far from Atlanta’s worst offensive game.  In fact, I thought they moved the ball pretty well all night.  They spaced the floor, attacked the rim and got good looks, but it was a night where the ball couldn’t find the basket.  Still, the Hawks got 88 shots up and only committed eight turnovers.  When you have numbers like that, you’re going to win more games than you lose.

– Keep your eye on Mike Muscala, who played 15 more minutes tonight.  He’s going to be a guy Coach Bud uses in this home stretch, as evident by his substantial bench minutes in his first two career NBA games.

Portland’s three-point shooters got away from the Hawks at times, but tonight was still a much better defensive effort than Sunday.  as I mentioned, the offense will be fine if they play the way they did tonight, they just need to hit the open looks they get.  Hopefully Antic’s presence gives Atlanta a jolt heading into a big weekend back-to-back with the Warriors and Clippers.

Tweet of the Night

Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE/Getty Images

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