Official Game Thread: Hawks at Cavaliers


lethalweapon3
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The Dot Com is now updating Injury Report PDFs throughout the day, about every half-hour, which I'm not sure is a great thing but whatevs. As of 10:30 AM, Gallo (sore shoulder) is questionable.

https://official.nba.com/nba-injury-report-2021-22-season/

~lw3

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Don't get the big head and go to Cleveland and blow this game.  Hawks are going to need all the victories that they can muster this season.  We're favored.  Doesn't guarantee a win.

If our starters can stay with their starters, our 2nd team should feast.

GO ATL HAWKS !!

:smug:

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7 minutes ago, Gray Mule said:

Don't get the big head and go to Cleveland and blow this game.  Hawks are going to need all the victories that they can muster this season.  We're favored.  Doesn't guarantee a win.

If our starters can stay with their starters, our 2nd team should feast.

GO ATL HAWKS !!

:smug:

Sounds like you have a lot of doubt about this team Grey...constantly sounding the be cautious about this team alarm. What gives?

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45 minutes ago, Gray Mule said:

Tis better to be safe than sorry.  If you don't climb too high you don't have as far to fall.

I'm not worried about the Hawks being good.  They are.  I just don't want them to go into one of their famous sleepwalk games and forget to play.  It's happened so often before.  We all remember.

Nothing good in this life comes easy.  Things taken for granted oft times fail.  I just want the Hawks to be alert and ready for whatever is thrown at them by whoever is going against Atlanta.

GO ATL HAWKS !!

:smug:

So your thinking is if you are cautious optimistic, the team would in turn be cautious when approaching games against team who are obviously inferior opponents.  I didn't know that you were superstitious like that.

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1 minute ago, Peoriabird said:

So your thinking is if you are cautious optimistic, the team would in turn be cautious when approaching games against team who are obviously inferior opponents.  I didn't know that you were superstitious like that.

The above statement assumes that you don't think Cleveland is as good as the Hawks.

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2 minutes ago, JayBirdHawk said:

We should beat the Cavs like a drum,  if we don't I'd be dissapointed.

The big question for me...Will JC posterior Allen, again?

I won't be disappointed with any win. I just want them to win.  Rather it be by 30 or by 1. Just win and keep this momentum going. 

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30 minutes ago, JayBirdHawk said:

We should beat the Cavs like a drum,  if we don't I'd be dissapointed.

The big question for me...Will JC posterior Allen, again?

Jarrett tried to do one himself, but it was a high percentage throw in...lol

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    • By lethalweapon3
      “So the plumber looked behind the toilet wall, and guess what he found?”
       
      I’m gonna be real with y’all. When the calendar turned to 2020, Adrian Dantley, I was apprised of a pervasive, pernicious threat to North America expanding across the Pacific. A threat that looked, to me, like it would soon loom over almost all our livelihoods, making it tough to so much as spend time outdoors without needing to protect ourselves and those we hold dear.
      But I also knew for certain, if we all recognized the threat, and pulled together in close to the same universal direction, we could beat back this menace before it killed and created great pains for untold numbers of people. Our triumph would be the story that sets the tone for the decade to come. Bring on The New Roaring Twenties!
      We are just weeks away from turning the page on 2021, Anthony Davis. Why in blazes, I ask of thee, is anybody still dealing with Murder Hornets?
      Man alive, was I ready for battle. If you went to The Sto’ and found an aisle was thoroughly depleted of Raid and Hotshot, blame me. I had my swatters and zappers and foggers and fly strips and everythang. You are NOT gonna be the reason I hesitate to head out and sit beside thousands of fans cheering on my Atlanta Hawks, you pesky Murder Hornet! No-sir-bee!
      Our saving graces? These not-so-little buggers have been infinitely more of a terror for bees, beetles and wasps thus far, making direct impacts to human species tertiary, at best. By all accounts they’re still confined to the Pacific Northwest of North America, and even there you were more likely to be accosted by an NBA GM than some horde of venomous, stinging wingnuts. Still, most of us have learned that the thought, “It’s happening to them, over there, so I will be safe, over here,” doesn’t always, well, fly.
      State Farm Arena was fumigated of far less lethal Hornets back on November 20, our Atlanta Hawks having dispatched the buzzy visitors from Charlotte, North Cack-a-Lack. A couple weekends later, though, they have returned to The Farm (6 PM Eastern, Bally Sports Southeast, 92.9 FM in ATL), rested and recalibrated following a three-day layoff. Is this incoming variant of Hornet something of concern? And what have they been up to since they were last run out of town?
      These Hornets are still a freewheeling bunch, zipping about at a pace that ranks second only to juggernaut Houston. With likely All-Star guard LaMelo Ball leading the charge in several major counting-stat categories, Charlotte’s still good for a couple reel-worthy highlights per night. And they still give up way too many points (111.7 D-Rating, 2nd-worst in NBA) for anyone’s liking.
      Since losing 115-105 to the Hawks last month, the Hornets took three steps forward, including a win at rival Washington, then took three steps back, all on the road. They managed to score 135 points in H-Town, and every bucket was necessary to erase an 11-point deficit in the final quarter, after allowing 110 Rocket points through the first three quarters.
      Charlotte fell in overtime, anyway, handing Houston their third win of the year by a 146-143 final score. They went on to fall short in Chicago and Milwaukee, allowing 133 and 127 regulation points, respectively. After falling to a 13-11 record, the Hornets are hoping to get the same Trust Fall catch Atlanta recently granted New York and Philadelphia.
      One commonality the Hawks and Hornets shared, before Atlanta’s win over Charlotte off of two days’ rest, was the high strength of schedule coupled with limited intervening rest days. While opponent strengths have remained comparable, Atlanta has at least been able to get significant practice and video time in at home, amongst the healthier bodies on their roster.
      Coach James Borrego’s hive has only enjoyed one two-day siesta this season, prior to the three-day break preceding tonight’s tipoff. It has been 17 days and counting since they’ve had a day off following a home game (their 7-2 home record, now, the best in the East), and tonight’s game will be their NBA-high 16th away game. They’ve only played once at home in their past seven contests, as Philly, resting since emerging victorious here on Friday, awaits the Hornets’ arrival to Spectrum Center tomorrow for a two-games-in-three-days affair.
      Atlanta needed all of last week’s 72-hour regrouping time just to survive the Pacers, back on Wednesday in Indiana. It’s the Hawks’ only victory since their seven-game get-right streak concluded back on November 26. Another three-day break arrives soon. But first, coach Nate McMillan’s flock has to fly north for a wintry tilt in Minnesota tomorrow. No one has time to hear about the Hawks (12-11) being short-winged, perhaps least of all the Hornets.
      The starting backcourt of Ball and Terry Rozier were sent home from practice yesterday after being placed under the league’s Health ‘n Safety Protocols. Backup bigs Mason Plumlee and Jalen McDaniels were booted from the Hornets’ nest due to Pandemic Protocols, too, the former’s plans to return from a calf injury tabled for a little longer.
      For most pro teams, a visitor coming to your floor abruptly absent a key player or two is soothing news. But we all know The Atlanta Axiom. The fewer talents an opponent suddenly has, the bigger trouble an Atlanta sports team finds itself.
      The ATL Axiom held firm at The Farm on Friday night, when Doc Rivers’ Sixers were permitted to claw their way back into contention, and then toward a 98-96 victory, despite having to make-do without Tobias Harris as a late scratch. In deflating home losses to the Knicks and Sixers, Atlanta combined to score just 25 points in the fourth quarters, dropping their effective field goal percentage in final frames to 46.7 eFG% (a shade below Minny’s league-worst 46.6).
      The Hawks often get too caught up in swinging for the fences, hunting for home run plays and shots that look good on the nightly sport segments, when executing the occasional sacrifice bunts and bloop singles will do just fine.
      Subpar shot selection by Trae Young (questionable for today, sore knee), a lack of urgency getting set in transition (1.16 transition PPP allowed, 3rd-worst in NBA, although frequency of opponent possessions is thankfully 3rd-lowest), and delayed off-ball movement in halfcourt sets, bedevil McMillan’s club when they play with a lead. A furthering of these woes leaves the door open for Ish Smith, Cody Martin, Kelly Oubre, rookie James Bouknight and Gordon Hayward to waltz in and snag another reinvigorating win for the visitors at Atlanta’s expense.
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      Getting more mid-game pulp out of Danilo Gallinari (season-high 18 points vs. PHI, matching the Sixers’ whole bench production; 16 points vs. CHA last month w/ 8-for-8 FTs) and Dieng will lighten the loads for starters John Collins and Clint Capela (combined 17-for-19 2FGs vs. CHA last month). It should also grant Young, Kevin Huerter (questionable, sore quad) and any Atlanta ballhandlers a higher margin for late-game error.
      Atlanta (NBA-best 12.3 team TO%) remains among the stingiest with the basketball, a telltale sign of McMillan’s influence and Young’s continued maturation. For this to factor into winning advantages, particularly on a team that doesn’t force many turnovers themselves, just comes down to the timing of the turnovers at the starts (14.3 1st-quarter TO%, tie-22nd-lowest in NBA) and ends (13.0 clutch-time TO%, 19th-lowest in NBA) of games.
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      ~lw3
    • By lethalweapon3
      “Who Wants a T-Shirt?!?”
       
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      With the Nuggets’ Austin Rivers shelved, Doc isn’t the only head coach who has a son fighting through You Know What. Jamelle’s pops Nate McMillan returns to the Hawks’ sideline tonight after having joined Rivers, Rick Carlisle and Coach Pop among active coaches in The 700 and Up Club, in absentia in Indiana.
      Getting to win #750 won’t happen anytime soon, but it sure would be easier for Nate Mac if he can eventually get a fuller complement of players in his rotation, particularly at the wing. Without Bogdan Bogdanovic and Cam Reddish (with Young, the three leading Hawk scorers in Atlanta’s 122-94 loss in Philly on Oct. 30; Cam’s doubtful for tonight), the Hawks are putting a lot on Kevin Huerter’s plate.
      Undoubtedly, Red Velvet has been eating (8-for-11 FGs and a timely jersey tug @ IND; 53.7 FG%, 43.6 3FG% over last 9 games) while handling tough backcourt assignments, an integral component to the Hawks’ current 8-1 run. But there will be stretches, like the second half in Indy, or games, like the last home game versus the Knicks, where Huerter’s production will dip.
      Preserving Huerter’s minutes will allow him to look more like the Game 7 hero that propelled Atlanta over Philly into the Eastern Conference Finals. It will be essential, then, for McMillan to turn more frequently to Delon Wright to help fill the gap.
      Amid Wednesday’s 114-111 win over the Pacers, Wright’s 11 points (4-for-6 FGs) under interim coach Chris Jent were a season-high, and he is a surer defensive option than Lou Williams off the bench. Mixing in Wright to play alongside Young, and Huerter at turns, should only enhance the Hawks’ two-way backcourt prowess until either of Reddish or Bogdanovic returns at full health.
      With the aid of Green and Thybulle, the Sixers will throw all kinds of janky defenses at Young, designed to keep him from shooting and coaxing him into giving up the ball. Trae has been relinquishing the rock, too, during his latest scoring streak, just not as frequently to his opponents as they might like (8.8 APG, 3.0 TOs/game over last 5 contests; 9.1 and 5.0, respectively, in prior 8 games).
      Savvier ball-handling, and better finishes on plays for roll-man Clint Capela, has made Trae (NBA-high 15.0 PPG as P&R ball-handler) an incrementally more potent offensive threat than even the version that gave Simmons and company fits at playoff time.
      The Sixers do tout the league’s best roll-man defense (NBA-best 0.86 opponent points per possession on those P&R plays), making it tough on John Collins (1.56 points per possession, tops among 23 players with 3+ roll-man possessions per game) and Capela (combined 7-for-20 FGs w/ Collins @ PHI on Oct. 30) to thrive. But Young is well-equipped to exploit Embiid and Andre Drummond’s saggy defensive schemes. He’ll need Huerter, 2016 Sixer first-rounder and fill-in starter Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (2-for-5 3FGs for season-high 8 points @ IND), Collins and Danilo Gallinari to make good on perimeter opportunities as they arise.
      The Sixers will eventually find their sea legs, but there’s no need to help them swim tonight. If the Hawks dictate the tempo, harrying Philly into bad shots while boxing out and limiting second chances, Embiid and the Sixers will find themselves in no condition to keep up for a spirited run of 48 minutes. Let’s make “Trae-ror” the order of the day!
       
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      ~lw3
    • By lethalweapon3
      “OWW! Friggin’ COVID Toe!”
       
      I was this old, minus a couple months, when I discovered, for the first time, that coaches don’t get Olympic medals. It never dawned on me that in all the years I watched Dream Teams and their predecessors stand on the podiums, that the Bobby Knights and Coach Ks of the world weren’t right there among them collecting shiny laurels. In a world where participation trophies are frowned upon, coaches of top-3-finishing teams and athletes don’t even get those from The Notorious IOC.
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      ~lw3
    • By lethalweapon3
      This season is already one for the rafters.
       
      Props to the pride of THE Georgia Institute of Technology! DWTS meets THWG!
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      The Knicks return home from Atlanta to visit Brooklyn in a few days, and then Chicago comes to town. Accordingly, they only hope the start of an eye-opening winning streak, and not the extension of a slide down the standings, can be as easy as A-B-C.  In seasons past, no matter their situation, they were ensured of playing here before a Knick-friendly crowd, using the word “friendly” loosely. Those days are past, and those obnoxious fans will continue to fall back in the rearview mirror as fans of high-quality basketball show up to The Farm proudly rocking red and yellow.
      Alright, New York and all your crazy fans! Get to steppin’.
       
       
      Let’s Go Hawks!
      ~lw3
    • By lethalweapon3
      “On second thought, LeBron… Watch MY head!”
       
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      It's easy to point an accusing finger at Ja Morant (116.8 D-Rating, lowest among NBA players w/ 1000+ possessions). But Jenkins has Kyle Anderson and Brandon Clarke coming off the bench, is giving unready rookie Ziaire Williams way too much time in rotations, and has replacement center Steven Adams looking lost alongside Jaren Jackson, Jr.
      Minnesota is surging well enough on their own. But when they beat you by 43 points and score 138 in regulation (four T-Wolf guards, incl. Pat Beverley, combining to hit 16 of 26 threes), as was the case this past Saturday, alarm bells ought to be going off.
      Zach Kleiman and the Memphis front office are due for a bit of self-reflection, too, for their shallow roster construction. But Beverley was a Grizzlie for less than a week in this offseason, as the team unloaded Jonas Valanciunas and Eric Bledsoe in successive trades. The one tangible remnant aside from Adams from those deals, the struggling Jarrett Culver, is getting yo-yo’d to and from the G-League and hasn’t really found a role under Jenkins, not even as a defensive stopgap.
      Coming off a 38-34 season in 2020-21 and a tidy first-round exit versus Utah in last year’s playoffs, Jenkins is challenged to demonstrate growth and a stronger, more playoff-competitive roster. If the defensive lapses continue and young players’ development continues to stall on his watch, Memphis’ coach won’t find himself challenged for much longer.
      The Griz only give themselves a shot when they’re able to fight fire with fire, on multiple fronts. They upset the Jazz, 119-118 on Monday in Salt Lake (despite letting That Other Bogdanovic go 7-for-11 from deep) thanks to a big 28-point night from Desmond Bane to supplement Ja and Triple-J. Getting De’Anthony Melton (questionable, strained groin) back will boost the defense, but he’s not the panacea.
      The team’s second-leading scorer, Dillon Brooks only recently returned fully from an offseason non-shooting hand injury and has been high-volume, low-efficiency on offense (19.3 PPG, 30.0 3FG% in last 4 games). He’s been a net-negative when unproductive on the other side of the floor.
      Whereas the Hawks’ sixth consecutive win required pummeling the Spurs’ interior before breaking the game open in the second half with timely perimeter shots, stretching the win streak ahead of tomorrow match back home with the Knicks will necessitate an outside-in approach.
      Open shooters like Kevin Huerter (69.6 eFG% during win streak) will be available off penetration early, and Adams is unlikely to abdicate the paint when John Collins or Danilo Gallinari have clear looks at three-pointers. Later in the contest, Atlanta (10-9) can work the paint and exploit Memphis’ wafer-thin interior, as Anderson and Xavier Tillman routinely find themselves overwhelmed.
      The Hawks will need their bigs to remain patient and avoid foul trouble off of cheap hacks, particularly those that send the acrobatic Morant to the line for extra points. Boxing out on putback specialist Adams (5.3 O-Rebs per-36, 4th among NBA players w/ 20+ MPG and 10+ games) will be a key to victory as well. The Knicks arrive in the morning after hosting red-hot Phoenix at MSG. Atlanta will likely do well if they put up pinball numbers, but they must remain focused on the task at hand to avoid a TILT before heading home.
      Y’all be easy out here on Black Friday! Wrangling with strangers in a tug-of-war over the only 5G Bluetooth toaster oven left in Aisle 4 isn’t worth the hassle.
       
      Let’s Go Hawks!
      ~lw3