RECAP: Cavs 99, Hawks 83

Raj Prashad —  January 9, 2013


CLE(9-28) 99 – 83 (20-14) ATL

Key Performers:

J. Smith (ATL): 17 pts, 8 reb, 4 asts, 6 blks
K. Irving (CLE): 33 pts, 1 reb, 4 asts, 3 stls

For the second night in a row, the Hawks wasted multiple opportunities to take the lead and eventually let one slip away on the road. Atlanta turned the ball over eight times and allowed the Cavaliers to shoot 58 percent from three-point land in the first half. After scoring just 12 points in the second quarter, the Hawks attempted their comeback in the third frame, only to be thwarted by Kyrie Irving and his 18-point quarter. Despite Cleveland missing energy guy Anderson Varejao, the Hawks only outrebounded the Cavs 46-45 for the game and Atlanta dropped their fourth-straight loss.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Josh Smith: Other than Pachulia, Smith played one of the better games for the struggling Hawks. Josh attempted five three-pointers, but made up for it with his all-around effort. He was a constant force throughout the evening as Atlanta’s high scorer. Josh was dominant in the paint, blocking a whopping six shots, but his perimeter defense was lacking and he took plays off when effort wasn’t there from his teammates. He also air balled a free throw in the fourth. 8/10

Al Horford: Horford found his range shooting, but his lack of awareness on the boards (just five rebounds) and his defense on Tyler Zeller and Tristan Thompson made Atlanta’s night even worse. Al only scored four points and snagged two rebounds in the second half when the Hawks needed someone not named Josh Smith or Jeff Teague to step up. 5/10

Kyle Korver: Kyle had a pretty fantastic night. He went nearly shot-for-shot with Alonzo Gee, hitting 4-of-8 three’s while Gee hit 5-of-9 for Cleveland. Korver also grabbed seven rebounds. Most importantly, though, Korver had zero turnovers and played decent defense.  7.5/10

Jeff Teague: This game was a perfect balance of Teague’s career. In the first half we saw complacent Teague, who allowed his teammates to do the work as he dished out four assists and scored two points. He was outplayed in every facet of the game, watching Kyrie Irving drop 13 for the Cavs. While his defense wasn’t much better in the second half, he came alive and scored 13, while dishing out four more assists. Jeff helped tie the game early in the third, scoring seven of Atlanta’s nine points to tie it. But when he stopped attacking, the Hawks faded to a double-digit deficit. 6/10

Lou Williams: As a stabalizing force off the bench, Lou took some awful shots, which tends to be the norm for him. Contested jumpers and runners in the lane just weren’t falling, though. He couldn’t create for himself and was a liability on the defensive end. He was a -14 on the floor. 2/10

Zaza Pachulia: In his return to the starting lineup, Zaza responded with a near double-double. Pachulia was his normal 10-rebound, eight-point self while frustrating the opposition with his size and strength in the paint.  7/10

Anthony Tolliver: Tolliver played barely any minutes, providing depth from the end of the bench and checking in to close the game out in garbage time. 2/10

Ivan Johnson: Ivan finally saw some significant action, as the Cavs started to pull away in the third frame. In the final seven minutes of the quarter, Johnson scored three points, grabbed two rebounds and one steal. Atlanta needs more energy off the bench and Johnson would be the logical name for those minutes. 6/10

John Jenkins: The rook hasn’t looked much like one this season, but Wednesday night he did. Jenkins checked in and challenged Williams for worst line of the night, but attempted one less shot. He finished with just five points and three rebounds after notching double-digit points Tuesday. 3/10

Johan Petro: Like Tolliver, Petro subbed in with the game well out of hand. 2/10

Devin Harris: Harris played just 12 minutes as coach Larry Drew attempts to ease him back into game shape in his return from injury. After missing 11 games due to a foot injury, Devin failed to record a point, but grabbed one rebound. 2/10

Mike Scott: Scott played pretty solid on both ends of the floor. He didn’t do too much, but he didn’t do too little either. 2/10

Larry Drew: Drew continues to confuse with his persistence to sit Ivan Johnson and his reliance on sets designed to get Pachulia open jumpers when what the Hawks really needed was Jeff Teague continuing his attack on the rim. One night after calling his team, “soft,” the Hawks responded by mailing in a snoozer. 3/10

The opposition: Without Varejao, Cleveland had four players in double-digits, and they really showed resiliency when Atlanta tied the game in the third. Kyrie Irving is coming into his own as he dominated Teague and the Hawks interior throughout the evening. 8/10


Next: Atlanta vs. Utah, Friday, January 11th

Raj Prashad

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