Portland Trail Blazers vs. Atlanta Hawks Pick & Prediction MARCH 13th 2024

The Atlanta Hawks continue to fight through injuries as they enter Wednesday night’s road game against the Portland Trail Blazers.

The short-handed Hawks are opening a five-game road trip and stand 5-3 over the past eight games despite the injury woes.

Point guard Trae Young (hand surgery) hasn’t played since Feb. 23, and big man Onyeka Okongwu (toe) has been out since Feb. 12.

Making matters worse, forward Saddiq Bey tore the ACL in his left knee during Sunday’s 116-103 loss to the visiting New Orleans Pelicans. He will soon undergo season-ending surgery.

“We’ve just been dropping guys and dropping guys,” Atlanta standout guard Dejounte Murray said. “It’s tough. I think injuries is what it comes down to (as far as) dictating how your season goes for a lot of teams.”

Hawks forward Jalen Johnson (ankle) has missed the past two games and is doubtful for the meeting with Portland.

Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 25 points to lead the Hawks against New Orleans.

Murray had 23 points and 11 assists vs. the Pelicans. In the previous game, he tied his career high of 41 points during a 99-92 road win over the Memphis Grizzlies.

Murray, who averages 21.8 points per game, has scored 20 or more points in seven of the past nine games.

The Hawks weren’t very good on defense against New Orleans, as the Pelicans shot 57.3 percent from the field. Atlanta coach Quin Snyder felt that was a blip as the team prepares for the road excursion.

“Our effort and our focus defensively has been there and that needs to continue to be there,” Snyder said. “We need to become more efficient on the offensive end. The defense will keep us in games and it’s crucial on the road to have that mindset.”

This is the first meeting between the Hawks and Trail Blazers this season. The teams will play again on March 27 at Atlanta.

Portland has dropped 10 of its past 11 home games and stands 1-3 on a six-game homestand.

The Trail Blazers lost 121-99 to the visiting Boston Celtics on Monday night. That represents Portland’s 13th loss in its past 16 games overall.

Big man Deandre Ayton had 22 points and 15 rebounds against Boston for his fifth straight double-double.

Guard Anfernee Simons scored 17 points but made just 6 of 18 shots from the floor against the Celtics, who were without starters Kristaps Porzingis and Jrue Holiday.

Simons said it didn’t matter who was on the floor and that the game against the powerful Celtics was a big learning experience for the Trail Blazers.

“It’s a challenge for us regardless of what our record is,” Simons said. “We got a lot to learn from that game. There’s things they did and things we didn’t do. Gonna watch film and see how we can learn from that team.”

Portland coach Chauncey Billups noticed that Boston’s quality of play was higher than his own club’s level.

“One, you realize how good of a team you played against,” Billups said. “Two, the fact that they have so much chemistry. That they don’t have to run many things. They’ve built that team very nicely with all the shooting. So, they can play one-on-one and create chase all game.”

Forward Jerami Grant was just 5-of-14 shooting while scoring 14 points against Boston. He returned after a two-game absence due to a hamstring injury.

The Trail Blazers and Hawks split the season series in each of the past four campaigns.

–Field Level Media

Docsports, The most trusted name in sports handicapping