What We Learned: Cavs vs Hawks

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seattlepi.com
seattlepi.com

The Hawks embarrassed the Cavs 127 to 98 Wednesday night, and it was every bit as bad as it sounds. The Cavs got off to an early lead in the 1st quarter, as they normally do, but weren’t able to sustain it. A big run in the 3rd quarter by the Hawks sealed the Cavs fate. Here are a couple things we can take away from Wednesday night’s loss.

This is just one game. Yes I know the Cavs looked awful, but it’s just one game. Every team has games like this no matter how good they are. There’s no need to jump to crazy conclusions after one loss.

The Hawks made the Cavs defense look awful. They were able to get everything they wanted on the inside and outside. They finished the game shooting 65% from the field while making 16 of 28 3’s. The Hawks made the Cavs defense look like the Washington Generals.

If a rim protector wasn’t a concern before this game, it is now. The Hawks showed us why the Cavs need a rim protector. Atlanta ended the game with 58 points in the paint. Many baskets were results of bad man to man defense and lazy switches on picks. The Cavs had no answer in the paint, absolutely none. Andy is not the answer, no matter how much we all love him.

The Cavs defense has a knack for making opposing team’s bench players look like all-stars. Wednesday it was Shelvin Mack. Going into today he averaged 3.8 points a game, but you wouldn’t have known that by watching the game. He ended the game with 24 points off 7-8 shooting, including 6-6 from deep. The Cavs can’t keep letting players like Mack torch them, it’s embarrassing.

The Cavs can start off strong, but can’t sustain the energy. Even Monday’s game the Cavs built a huge lead, and weren’t able to hold it for long. The Cavs need to find a way to carry the energy to the 2nd and 3rd quarters. The second unit is the main reason this has become a huge issue. We might have the worst bench in the entire NBA not named 76ers.

The Big 3 had a bad game, in particular Kyrie Irving. Irving hasn’t looked good the last seven games. He finished the game with 9 points. But this time, he didn’t get much help from LeBron and Love either. The Big 3 finished the game with a pedestrian 43 points. The Cavs aren’t built to win games when the Big 3 are held to only 43 points.

We’ll see how the Cavs respond to this game on Friday. The Cavs need to put this one behind them and focus on the game against Brooklyn on Friday. Hopefully we’ll see the Cavs put together 4 quarters of basketball and not just 1.

@CST_JacksonF

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