Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Atlanta Hawks
7:00 PM ET, January 21, 2012
Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA
Coverage: Sport South
This game has all the potential for an upset based on just how well the Cavaliers have been communicating. They have also found ways to wreak havoc on teams such as the Lakers, the Jazz and the Pacers in overtime. Not to mention, the Atlanta Hawks have not had an easy time against the Cavaliers in the past, winning 4 of the 7 games over the last 2 seasons. The Hawks have a 7 and 1 record this year. The Hawks obviously want to continue their impressive winning record, but Cleveland is going to try their bet to not let that happen.
The Cavs have made some smart draft choices, such as point guard Kyrie Irving. Irving was the #1 pick overall and has made a quick name for himself throughout the league. He has led his team in scoring with 17.7 points a game as well as 5.2 assists and almost one steal per game. The Cavaliers rank 11th overall in offense, but fall short on defense allowing 96 points a game ranking them 20th overall.
The Atlanta Hawks are on a hot winning streak and they like it. They can show off a different all around player every night. They have so much young talent that they don’t have to depend on only one guy to show up night after night. Ranking 6th in the league in offense as well as 6th overall in defense, they are making themselves heard throughout not only the ATL, but the basketball nation. They are led by high scorer, Joe Johnson. Johnson averages 18.9 points a game and seems to enjoy watching his fellow teammates, especially Josh Smith, fly through the air and score at will.
The Cavaliers will have their plate full tonight. Defense will be important for them as they rotate their guards around deep zone coverage. Watching for the shot as well as the lob makes things that much harder to defend. They will have to play smart and collected. The Hawks on the other hand, will have to make it a point not to get over confident. They can’t assume anything, because if they do, they will be in for a surprisingly long afternoon. I like the Hawks in the game, but by no more than 3. I would not be shocked if the Cavaliers came through with the win.