Archives For Cleveland Cavaliers

Kyrie Irving was ruled out just before the start of Game 2 due to knee tendonitis. Not long afterwards, DeMarre Carroll was ruled a go to start Game 2 against the Cavs.

It didn’t matter.

Without Irving, LeBron James steamrolled through the Hawks’ defense, making the Hawks look helpless as the four-time MVP carved through Atlanta with his passing and scoring to lead Cleveland to a 94-82 victory. Without Irving and Kevin Love — who is absent from the series with a shoulder injury — James put the team on his healthy shoulders and delivered with 30 points, nine rebounds, and 11 assists.

“I’ve got a good vocabulary, but I’m sort of running out of superlatives for that guy,” said Coach David Blatt on LeBron. “He’s just a great basketball player.”

James was particularly masterful at adjusting throughout the game, as his scoring early was soon replaced with precision passing as the Hawks’ defense collapsed around him. Eight of James’ first nine assists were on 3-pointers, as James expertly delivered the ball to the likes of Iman Shumpert, James Jones, and Matthew Dellavedova around the perimeter.

“I’m able to make adjustments through the game, just knowing how the defense read and react,” said James on the fluctuations in the way he attacked throughout the game. “Obviously, when you’ve got guys like [Shumpert], who shot the ball extremely well tonight, the defense start to go further and further way from the paint and I’m about to see creases. When they react to me, I’m going to find my guys.”

For the Hawks, the offense became an atrocity in the second half. Jeff Teague led the Hawks in Game 1 with 27 points, but he laid an egg in Game 2 when matched up against Dellavedova. Coach Blatt and the Cavs schemed well, as they went under screens to force the Atlanta guards into shooting jump shots that they are not comfortable with. Teague was 1-for-7 from the field in the second half and did not show the same effort in trying to get to the rim that he did in the first half of the game, nor in Game 1.

“At the end of the day, we went out there, and we didn’t have a lot of energy,” said Carroll. “I think that was the biggest thing.”

Despite his injury, Carroll led the team in minutes in Friday night with 34. Carroll was clearly hampered, however, as he had little to no lift when he attempted to jump. The most athleticism Carroll showed all night was on a run out in transition, where Teague was pushing the ball and Carroll was sprinting at his side, waiting for the drop off pass for an easy bucket. Continue Reading…

Shelvin Mack had sat out the past two games because of the Hawks’ superb depth at point guard with Jeff Teague and Dennis Schröder. With Teague on the sidelines due to a hamstring strain, Mack had an opportunity to make an impact on Wednesday night against LeBron and the Cavaliers.

And boy did he do just that.

Mack scored a career-high 24 points off the bench, including 17 points and a 5-for-5 performance from 3 in the second quarter that swung the game in the Hawks’ favor. After trailing by 12 in the second, the Hawks rallied to take a 65-60 lead into halftime. Mack’s play translated to the rest of the Hawks in the second half, as Atlanta outscored Cleveland 62-38 in the final 24 minutes to give the Hawks a 127-98 victory.

The Hawks took control in the third quarter by continuously running plays targeting Kevin Love on defense. Paul Millsap and Al Horford accounted for seven straight Atlanta field goals in a span where the Hawks expanded their lead to double-digits. Horford finished with 20 points and four assists, while Millsap tallied 14 points, eight rebounds, and four assists. Continue Reading…

In front of a sellout crowd of 20,562, the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Atlanta Hawks 127-94.

Mike Budenholzer and the Hawks came into the game with a better record than the Cavs, but it didn’t take long to see who the better team really was. The Cavs went on a 21-1 run in through the middle of the second quarter, which turned a 16-point lead into an insurmountable 35-point deficit.

Paul Millsap led the Hawks in scoring with 16 points on 7-for-13 shooting to go along with seven boards, four helpers, a steal and a block. Sadly for Atlanta, only he and Al Horford seemed like they were ready for the game. Horford scored 12 points on 6-10 shooting in 19 minutes. In a surprising twist, Kyle Korver — who is one of the best shooters in the NBA — only had one shot attempt and added one assist. It’s strange to see a Korver stat line full of zeros.

Hawks were out of the game so early that coach Budenholzer decided to sit Korver for the entire second half. “Korver is fine, the game was out of reach so we wanted to try some other guys out there,” said Budenholzer after the game.

Cavs hit their first 11 3-pointers, including a fadeaway 3 at the end of the first quarter by rookie Joe Harris. “There isn’t much you can do when a guy is hitting shots like that at end of the quarter,” said Jeff Teague, who scored five points and tallied three assists. “We got discouraged out there when they started hitting those shots, we started putting our heads down and it just got worse.” Continue Reading…

Another Chance for Al Horford

Cole Patty —  October 31, 2014

Most people are familiar with Murphy’s Law or at least the current version of “whatever can go wrong will go wrong.” Commonly said in situations by the Average Joe on one of the days where the bad luck comes in bunches; it’s almost as if the forces of the universe just won’t let something nice happen to them, no matter how much good karma they may have built up.

Al Horford may be a two-time All-Star, but his career also feels like the embodiment of this law. Every time Horford gets a bit of momentum going towards finally becoming the superstar he plays like, something bad seems to happen. On top of that, he is mostly overlooked in the “best center in the East” discussions, he wasn’t named an All-Star during a great 2012-13 campaign, and was constantly overshadowed during his career by the more bombastic Josh Smith. In fact, most of the mainstream media coverage on Horford is about why he should be playing power forward instead of mentioning that he is a matchup nightmare for his larger stone footed counterparts.

As for Murphy’s Law, Horford’s injuries have stifled his growth towards becoming a superstar. When Atlanta powered on to the 5-seed in the strike shortened 2011-12 seasons, Continue Reading…

RECAP: Hawks 127, Cavs 125

Cole Patty —  December 26, 2013

FINAL

CLE(10-18) 125 – 127 (16-13) ATL

Key Performers:
J. Teague (ATL): 34 pts, 3 reb, 14 ast, 3 stl
K. Irving (CLE): 40 pts, 2 reb, 9 ast, 4 stl
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The main complaint with the Hawks this season was their inconsistent tendencies. When the team won games, like their last meeting with the Cavaliers, they looked like a team that could and should be the third team in the East. When they lost, Atlanta looked more apart of the group with the other borderline playoff squads. Their Jekyll and Hyde tendencies were frustrating, and left viewers puzzled as to what this team could actually achieved.

Tonight was different however. The shots weren’t falling, and they lost Al Horford and DeMarre Carroll to — hopefully non-serious — injury. Playing funky lineups and making scrappy plays wasn’t in the game plan, and this season Atlanta has lost most of the games that have gone this way. Yet, they kept finding a way tonight. Whether it was forcing the kinds of turnovers that didn’t show up as steals, throwing the ball off Cavaliers players to gain possession, or making a simple defensive rebound difficult, this team made the kinds of plays that will go unnoticed. This might not be the teams best win, but if things go in a positive direction for the next 53 games it could very well be their most telling win. The shots didn’t fall their way for a long stretch — the Hawks didn’t lead from 8:03 left in the fourth until 1:06, and only lead for a total of 10 seconds in overtime — but they found a way to get that win.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Al Horford: Up until the injury, Al was the best player on the floor. He hit hook shot after hook shot, added a three, and came away with 25 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and two blocks. He shot 11-17 too, which is hyper efficient for the big man. Hard to ask more out of Al, hopefully the center’s injuries aren’t extensive.  9/10

Jeff Teague: Teague made every important play he possible could have.They tying three to end regulation, a few strips on Kyrie to force turnovers, and the shot that sealed it. He had six turnovers, but it’s extended time helped force a couple of those and he responded well. The latter is huge. Many times Jeff is question because of an apparent lack of focus, but tonight he always had the answers to every tough possible moment. Including when Al Horford went out. 34 points and 14 assists help too.  10/10

Paul Millsap: Paul had some good moments, and he had some bad moments. When Horford went out, it was a little disheartening how the offense struggled when it was ran through him at first. However, when Teague took it over he made some important plays as well. Disrupting Tristan Thompson on a seemingly easy defensive rebound to snag the Hawks an extra possession was the biggest play of the game, until Teague’s shot went later. 7/10

DeMarre Carroll: Carroll struggled on the fast break early, but wasn’t a really net positive or negative in his 26 minutes. 3-7 from the field for 8 points, with zero turnovers is as unspectacular as it looks. The biggest concern is that he is okay after injuring his thumb in regulation. 4/10

Kyle Korver: Korver had so many attempts hit the rim early, and it was frustrating because they were quality looks too. All those misses early came in handy however, as they started falling when they needed to much. 4-12 from three looks like a bad stat-line, but Korver’s four pointer in the second overtime was one of the biggest plays in a game that was filled with them. He even found a way to work in six rebounds and five assists, both crucial in Horford’s absence. 7/10 Continue Reading…

FINAL

       CLE(6-13) 89 – 108 (11-10) ATL

Key Performers:
A. Horford (ATL): 22 pts, 9 reb, 4 ast, 2 stl, 2 blk
D. Waiters (CLE): 30 pts, 2 reb, 1 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]

On a night where much of the attention was focused on Kyle Korver’s streak, the Hawks offense came out in full force. Supported by a 37-point outburst in the 1st quarter, the Hawks ran the Cavs outta town with ease. Kyrie Irving was held scoreless and the Cavs were atrocious. Oh, and THE STREAK THE STREAK THE STREAK! (More on that later)

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Al Horford: Lil’ Tito was in a groove all night long, shooting 10-for-19 from the floor (see Key Performers above). He shot 13 mid-range jumpers. Thirteen! He only made six of them, which surprises me considering how wide open he was on many of those. The biggest low point of the night for Horf was when he fumbled a gorgeous pass on a fastbreak and lost it out of bounds. Come on Al! You won the Heisman as a WR in my NCAA 14 Road to Glory! 8.5/10

Jeff Teague: He’s still averaging 16 points and eight assists, but, for the past few games, I haven’t liked what I’ve seen from Teague. He added 13 points and six assists last night all while shooting 43% from the field. That makes two straight “eh” games. His three-ball continues to fail him (1-for-4 last night) and it seemed as if the Cavs were daring him to shoot from out there. Last time we had an opponent dare a player to shoot a three? I think you know who it is. Next up is a tough test against Russell Westbrook. Should be interesting to see what kind of game Jeff brings. 5/10

Paul Millsap: With all the rumors surrounding Omer Asik being dealt, the Hawks scenario generally involves swapping him with Paul Millsap. I highly disapprove. Trillsap showed us again last night why he is worth more than just $9.5 million a year. A beastly statline of 16 points, 14 rebounds, and 5 assists sums up the Cleveland power forwards well. They were thoroughly dominated last night. 8.5/10

DeMarre Carroll: He didn’t make any of his three attempts from the beyond the arc, but snagged eight boards. Eight boards! I don’t know whether to be happy that he’s crashing the glass so effectively or angry because he’s taking away stats from Al and Paul! But hey, 10 points and 8 boards for DeMarre is a solid night, even if he didn’t make a three. 6/10

Kyle Korver: THE STREAK THE STREAK THE STREAK THE STREAK THE STREAK THE STREAK.He played well on his record-breaking night and said at halftime that he’s “glad its over so he can play some basketball.” The Hawks gave him a nice tribute video showing all 90 of his made threes. Job well done. 90/10 Continue Reading…

2012-13 Record: 24-58 (13th in East)z-cavs

Playoff Result: Missed playoffs

Key Additions: Andrew Bynum (free agent), Jarrett Jack (free agent), Earl Clark (free agent), Anthony Bennett (draft), Sergey Karasev (draft), Mike Brown (coach)

Key Losses: Wayne Ellington (free agent), Omri Casspi (free agent), Marreese Speights (free agent)

Predicted 2013-14 Record: 41-41 (8th in East)*

What to Expect: Cleveland had one of the better summers, winning the draft lottery (again) and inking free agent center Andrew Bynum.

They’re a largely unproven team, though. Bynum and Anderson Varejao’s health will be what Cleveland’s season relies on. The Cavs took a chance on Bynum, bringing in the former All-Star big who missed all of last season on a two-year, $24 million deal, with only $6 million guaranteed. Bynum’s bulky knees have caused him to sit out lengthy stretches of the season in the past.

Then, there’s Varejao, who has played a combined 81 games in the past three years. Last season it was blood clots and leg injuries that kept Cleveland’s energy guy sidelined.

Cleveland is also incredibly young, with seven players age 23 or younger. Kyrie Irving is a budding star. Anthony Bennett could fill the gapping hole at small forward as the No. 1 overall selection. Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters add to a very strong core of young talent who will be expected to step their game up as Cleveland fights for it’s first playoff birth post-LeBron. Continue Reading…

RECAP: Hawks 102, Cavs 94

Bo Churney —  April 2, 2013

FINAL

  CLE(22-51) 94 – 102 (42-33)ATL

Key Performers:
D. Harris (ATL): 25 pts, 3 reb, 7 ast, 3 stl
M. Speights (CLE): 23 pts, 8 reb, 2 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]

Even with Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters out due to tanking, whoops, I mean injuries, the Hawks still needed a fourth quarter effort to keep the Cavs at bay. Devin Harris had a great game, and Josh Smith almost had a triple-double, but the guys seemed to be overpassing at times, which led to a lot of sloppy play in the second and fourth quarters.

In hindsight, there were some fun things about this game. Luke Walton pulled a eurostep when no one was defending him and he tried to pick a fight with Ivan Johnson. Plus, Boobie Gibson was ejected in the 2nd quarter after having some words with DeShawn Stevenson and the officials. Otherwise, watching the Braves beat the Phillies was probably a much better option for your viewing pleasure.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Josh Smith: He had a rather wild and uneventful first half with only three points. He picked it up in the second, though, scoring 15 points on 6-for-10 shooting, grabbing eight boards, and dishing out two more assists. His 18-14-8 line represents the second time this season he’s fallen short of a triple-double by just two assists. He had the entire fourth quarter to get those two assists, but then he fell into the case of trying too hard to get them, leading to some awful turnovers. 8/10

Al Horford: Al got into foul trouble early, which is unfortunate, because the Hawks look completely out of rhythm when he’s not on the floor. He wound up fouling out of the game, which was the 2nd time he’s fouled out this season. He was still able to put up 16 and 6 in limited minutes, which extended his streak of double-digit scoring games to 32, the second longest streak of his career. 8/10

Jeff Teague: He let Livingston school him a little bit, but for the most part, he rebounded from his poor game against Orlando. He struggled with his shot in the paint, only going 1-for-6 around the basket. However, he did connect on four three pointers, and had only two turnovers against nine assists. 7/10

Devin Harris: Thank God for Devin Harris. He kept the Hawks on top in the first quarter with 11 points in that period alone. He was constantly attacking the basket, and got to the line eight times. His 25 total points were a season-high, and he added seven assists and three steals to round out a great overall game from Devin, possibly his best as a Hawk. 9/10

Kyle Korver: Larry Drew said before the game that the team isn’t looking for Kyle’s streak during the game, which I’m going to believe to a point; the system the Hawks run on offense means Kyle is going to get a lot of open looks, and of course, Korver is good enough to capitalize on those attempts early in the game. He had three threes in this game to extend the streak to 68 games, but the highlight of his night was when he absolutely swatted a Tristan Thompson jumper in the first quarter. Any night where Kyle gets an emphatic block is going to be a good one. 7/10

Continue Reading…

Nubyjas was able to get some nice videos after the game versus the Cavs. In the future, you can keep up with these videos through HawksHoops’ Youtube channel.

 

 

 

RECAP: Cavs 113, Hawks 111

Bo Churney —  November 30, 2012

FINAL

CLE(4-12) 113 – 111 (9-5) ATL

Key Performers:

J. Smith (ATL): 25 pts, 8 rebs, 3 asts, 3 blks, 2 stls
A. Varejao (CLE): 20 , 18 rebs, 3 asts
[FULL BOX SCORE]

So, mere hours after I wrote this, the Hawks give up 113 points to a Kyrie-less Cavs team, including 31 in the fourth quarter. Varejao and Thompson did most of their work on the boards in the second half, allowing Cleveland to storm back from a double-digit halftime deficit. That Hawks’ six-game winning streak is no more. (also, come on, Atlanta fans! That crowd was awful.)

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Josh Smith: Josh was all over the floor again, putting up a game-high 25 points and putting up statistics in every other imaginable category. He made one terrible mistake, though: he failed to box-out Alonzo Gee on the Cavaliers’ last possession. 8/10

Al Horford: Besides Josh, Al was the only other Hawks player who could grab a rebound. He did a good job in most facets of the game, but he appeared to be over helping at times, giving Varejao a couple of open looks. That wasn’t why the Hawks lost this game, though. 7/10

Zaza Pachulia: Zaza just was not good this game. He didn’t rebound and he didn’t help out at all on offense. 1/10

DeShawn Stevenson: He let Waiters and Pargo torch him at times, which isn’t what you want out of your defensive stopper. He did make his open shots, though. 5/10

Jeff Teague: Teague had six steals and seven assists, but then he let Pargo go off on him in the fourth quarter. He was 4-11 from the field, but I’ll give him a bit of a break since quite a few of those misses came after he took a hard foul int he first. 6/10 Continue Reading…