The Atlanta Hawks overcame a second half slow down and rallied late to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers 95-87 and snap a two-game losing streak in the process. After controlling the game throughout the first half, Atlanta saw its offense go stagnant against the Trail Blazers and the result was a blown 15 point lead. Josh Smith, Al Horford and Jeff Teague were able to rally but the second half slow downs for this team are becoming a problem.
In all three games the situation has been similar. The offense becomes stagnant, turnovers become a problem and instead of working for the best shot, Atlanta opts for the first shot. Who should take the shot also hasn't been real clear. Josh Smith is averaging 17.6 shot attempts per game and is shooting 39 percent. Al Horford is attempting 11.7 shots a game while Lou Williams is averaging just under 11 attempts per.
While Atlanta runs more of a free flowing offensive system Larry Drew has made it a practice to run set plays for Josh Smith in the post early in the game. He may have to revisit that scenario late in games when the offense goes stagnant. Drew and the Hawks would also be well served to get Horford involved a little closer to the basket particularly in the second halves of games.
Lou Williams' case is interesting that his shot attempts have gone way down over the last three ball games along with his minutes. Granted Williams was sick during last night's game but he has averaged less than 20 minutes per game the last three and around seven shot attempts.
The Hawks are six games into the season and with so many new faces its very early to start worrying about shot attempts. However, the offensive slowdowns are becoming somewhat of a reoccurring theme and played a huge part in two early season losses.