The Atlanta Hawks are in a bit of a tailspin. They are taking jumpers and missing them. If they continue the same disturbing pattern against the Portland Trail Blazers, Atlanta could end the day on Saturday with their longest losing streak in three years.
Joe Johnson's "jump shooting" Hawks return to Philips Arena for a Saturday night matchup against Gerald Wallace and the Blazers (7:00 p.m., SportSouth, 97.9 FM).
Atlanta is looking to avoid its first five-game slide since the club lost six straight from Feb. 8-20, 2008. They will need to rely on something other than the jump shot to get there.
The Hawks fired over 60-something percent from the field en route to taking a 50-48 lead into the break on Friday night against the Chicago Bulls. But Atlanta settled into the perimeter game in the second half. The shots stopped falling and the Hawks ended up suffering an embarrassing 94-76 setback.
Luckily for Atlanta, they play the next day against a Portland team they played very well against a few weeks ago. Johnson posted 22 in a 90-83 Atlanta win, which was the fourth straight over the Trail Blazers.
Portland is coming off of a 97-92 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats, where Stephen Jackson got the best of his former teammate Wallace, posting a game-high 29 points. Wallace had 13 points before fouling out late in the game.
The Trail Blazers had won four straight prior to the loss in Charlotte, including impressive wins over the Orlando Magic and Miami Heat.