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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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