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A Review of Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals 2015

May 22, 2015
NBA Eastern Conference Final

Let’s take a look at the game

Looking at only sports scores, this game would be hard for any punter to a wage on. You could say the team with the best player will win. Or you could say the team playing at home will win. The wisest thing would have been to simply look at J.R Smith’s Instagram message earlier in the week that said “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

J.R Smith was more a victim of collateral damage when he was traded mid-season by the New York Knicks to Cleveland. After Smith’s performance last night some may now consider Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin a genius. The people of the East Coast now have a new guest star on the LeBron James Show and his name is J.R

usatoday.com: Cavaliers beat Hawks in Eastern Conference finals Game 1

The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Atlanta Hawks 97-89 in Atlanta leading the series 1-0. Lebron James did what he does best, persevering through intense moments regardless of foul trouble. James has score 30 plus points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists in 52 playoff games as of last night which is an NBA record making sports scores news.

J.R Smith made the difference in this game with a playoff career high of 28 points. This man had the hot hand shooting 10 out of 16 shots from the field and 8 out of 12 three-point shots. Smith’s number of 8 rebounds may be even more impressive than the 8 three pointers. Like many teams, the Cavaliers were products of timing.

Waging on the second half would have been smart because after the first few minutes of the third quarter, the Cavaliers went on a 22-4 run that lasted into the heart of the fourth quarter. Smith managed to get 17 of those 22 points during that time. Smith was an unexpected surprise to a Cavalier team that was ready to take advantage of it.

gmanetwork.com: Cavaliers draw first blood against Hawks in Eastern Conference Finals

Mozgov led the defense by dominating the boards on the inside. Unfortunately, Irving re-ignited his knee injury allowing him to play only 27 minutes. With a stable defense, a warmer Smith and a ever ready James, the Cleveland Cavaliers may have a better than average chance of getting one more win on the Hawk’s home court.

Apart from injury or fatigue, The Atlanta Hawks were the better team. They are at least nine deep. They have a chemistry that affords them good defense and unselfish ball handling. Atlanta is equipped with four All-Stars. But what Atlanta doesn’t have any more is a home court advantage that was stripped from them last night.

It was known that Jeff Teague of the Hawks would have to “come correct” in this game. Able to cut into the Cleveland defense, Teague scored 17 points in the half. Cleveland was able to muster up a respectable 26-20 lead after the first quarter. Losing their grip a bit, Cleveland was able to tie the game up 51 a piece by half time.

si.com: LeBron James’s sidekicks, led by J.R. Smith, fuel Game 1 win over Hawks

Then Cleveland’s Smith took over and kept the team in the lead until the end. Equally important was that the Hawks struggled offensively as well making shooting only 30.8% in the second half. Kyle Korver, the three-point man for the Cavaliers has gone fishing and has been replaced by his stunt double. Korver was contained to 9 points by Shumpert of the Cavaliers.

Perhaps the largest obstacle for Atlanta will be the absence of DeMarre Carrol who injured his knee in the fourth quarter. With a knee sprain or worse, the Hawks lose their only player with a remote chance of covering James on both ends of the court. Atlanta will hopefully start the second game more aggressively before James effectively reads the defense while checking it for weaknesses and making online mobile news.

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A Preview of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals

May 20, 2015
NBA Eastern Conference Final 2015

NBA Eastern Conference Final of 2015…

The Cleveland Cavaliers are about to take on the Atlanta Hawks for the Eastern conference championship. Compared to the impressive play that led Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets to their respective conference finals, neither east coast team’s sports scores have “turned heads.” Both battle weary teams will have to step up their performance if they wish to beat either the Warriors or Rockets.

The Cavaliers are victims of injury. Kyrie Irving, a key player, suffered from an ankle sprain that has made it difficult for the Cleveland team to adjust to. Kevin Love, an equally potent contributor wasn’t present in the playoffs which caused disarray in their line-up. Meanwhile the Hawks might be victims of “burn out” as their compromised bench has affected their post season play.

si.com: NBA playoffs preview: Hawks, Cavs meet in mutual disarray in East finals

The Cleveland Cavaliers were able to defeat the Boston Celtics in straight wins. The Chicago Bulls however tested Cleveland by putting them down in the last series by one game. The Cavaliers cleared the test winning three straight games to take the series and making sports score news. Lebron James, the best player in the NBA, is a threat Atlanta doesn’t have an answer for.

The four-time MVP and two time champion has a post season average of 26.5 points, 10.2 rebounds and 7.9 assists per game. James well-known in his post-season play surmounting a Durant, Westbrook and Harden of the Oklahoma Thunder or Garnett, Pierce and Allen of the Boston Celtics.

Atlanta’s Carrol Millsap may be the only realistic option for the Hawk defense since Kent Bazemore is absent. Irving is still a key factor and will be greatly needed. Even under ankle injury, Irving should still able to stand out of the paint and open himself up for easy two-pointer. Cleveland’s Mozgov is still proven zealous enough to make a difference on the inside on defense.

si.com: Cavaliers vs. Hawks: Analysis, Predictions for Eastern Conference Finals Game 1

Thompson will still have to hold his weight in the series hopefully counterbalancing Irving. Smith, Dellavedova and Shumpert are capable of providing the tools needed for the Cavalier offence. Shumpert in particular will have to ”up” his game since the normal Altanta offense may provide him with the longest looks at the basket. Either way you bet, it’s still safer than buying florida lottery tickets online.

The Atlantic Hawks have a pretty spread-out offense with four players having scoring averages between 17 and 15.3 points per game during the playoffs. Such an impressive display led Atlanta to 60 victories which led the eastern conference. Unfortunately they still lack any one deterrent for James. Cleveland’s record of 108.2 points per 100 possessions in the play-offs, will be difficult for Atlanta to stop.

That is important considering that the Hawks ranked seventh in efficiency in the NBA and second in postseason defensive efficiency. Let’s not forget that Cleveland would rather not run if given the choice. It should prove difficult for the Cavaliers to guard four guys with equal scoring potential without leaving one open.

fivethirtyeight.com: LeBron Dominates The Conference Finals

Cleveland is ranked at 92.9 possessions per 48 minutes in the postseason which could be trouble against a more spry offence like Atlanta. Movement by the hawks should help make gambling news and clear the spread. Jeff Teague should be able handle Irving and his bad ankle throughout the series. Jeff Teague will be dancing all over the court, forcing Irving to give the “Tiny Tim from Hell” impersonation.

Kyle Korver is going to be mobile throughout the series and it looks as though Cleveland’s J.R Smith could be the only one remotely able to cover him. The Atlanta offence has the potential to “rain” three-pointers against a Cavalier defense that’s “still under construction.” With drives into the heart of the Cavalier defense, technically sound pacing and effective passing, Atlanta has a better than average shot at winning the series.

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