|News » Someone may challenge Cavs, but not the Hawks|
|Someone may challenge Cavs, but not the Hawks|
Game Time: Cavaliers 105, Hawks 85With its latest annihilation of Atlanta, Cleveland is now 6-0 in the playoffs. However, Cavs fans are advised not to get overly excited because: The Pistons were the worst team to play in the first round. Especially without Al Horford and Marvin Williams, the Hawks are the worst team to reach the second round.
For sure, the Cavs did just about everything right in Game 2. Their energy was ferocious from the start, and their nonstop hustle was exemplified by Zydrunas Ilgauskas' hitting the floor to successfully rescue a loose ball when the Cavs were up by 28 points. LeBron James hit half of his six jumpers, including a 40-foot trey. All of the Cavs were admirably unselfish on every play. Not one shot was forced or taken too quickly. Delonte West and Mo Williams did whatever they wanted to against Mike Bibby's inept defensive efforts. The Cavs' defense was so effective it seemed as though they'd studied and memorized Atlanta's playbook. Cleveland's interior defensive rotations were flawless. So much so that except for a put-back the Hawks' half-court sets couldn't generate anything resembling a layup during the first quarter.
Early on, the Cavs controlled their offensive glass and gained numerous extra shots. They ran amok and did an excellent job of finishing on the break. Anderson Varejao buried Josh Smith in the low post, and even knocked down a 17-foot jumper. Their strategy of doubling Joe Johnson's every touch worked to perfection. And with Johnson probably out for Game 3, the Cavs should be even more devastating in Atlanta.
2009 NBA playoffs
- Cavs 105, Hawks 85 (Cavs 2-0)
- Celtics 112, Magic 94 (Tied 1-1)
- Lakers 111, Rockets 98 (Tied 1-1)
- Playoff results, schedule
- 2009 NBA Playoff Central
- Rosen: Cavs unchallenged so far
- Rosen: Suspensions of disbelief
- Hill: Lakers, Rockets get rough
- Behrendt: Lakers fight back in Game 2
- Goodman: Celtics still have pride
- Rosenberg: LeBron is best of era
- Postgame: Hawks-Cavs, Game 2
- Wednesday's action | Tuesday
Of course, a team can defeat only the teams they play. Still, the Cavs have yet to tested and may not be until the Finals.
Meanwhile, the Hawks did just about everything wrong in Game 2: Johnson couldn't find the basket with a road map, shot an air-ball, and suffered a severely sprained right ankle. Smith hit only one of his five attempted jumpers, also shot an air-ball, and was assessed his requisite technical foul. All told, the Hawks missed nine layups. Their interior rotations were nonexistent, and the rest of their defense wasn't any better. From the get-go, the Hawks played as though they knew for sure that they would lose. For most of the game, they trailed by 25-30 points, and were saved from being totally embarrassed only because their subs played harder than Cleveland's subs in the extended garbage time. A poor consolation.
As the game unfolded, there were only two questions that had to be answered:
How many points would LBJ score?
Twenty-seven in only 31 minutes.
When would the Hawks certify their defeat by going belly-up?
Early in the second quarter.
It seems impossible for the Hawks to avoid being swept. Indeed, after Game 4 on Monday, the last words will undoubtedly belong to Porky Pig: "Tha-tha-that's all, folks!"
Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 8, 2009