HAWKS FLY PAST GROUND-BOUND CAVS.
By: Takudzwa Makoni
When you give up 12 from 18 shooting from deep, it doesn’t matter how talented your roster is; it doesn’t matter that you have the reigning G.O.A.T on your team. You’re going to lose.
Without starting point guard and offensive leader Jeff Teague, The Atlanta Hawks knocked down nine of their three pointers in the second period alone, to clinch a five point half time lead, after trailing intermittently.
Power forward Al Horford continued to prove one of the bargains of last year’s off season, putting up 20 points while keying Atlanta’s inside-outside game.
Reserve point guard Shelvin Mack was the ‘next man up,’ knocking down all five of his attempts from deep, ending the night with 24 points.
After this incarnation of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ largest loss, Coach Blatt called the effort, ‘embarrassing,’ and according to ESPN.com, apologized to the home fans.
For Atlanta, Paul Millsap continued his strong early season form, banging with Kevin Love all night, who had a quiet 13-10 double-double. Love it seems, continues to play third wheel to Lebron James and Kyrie Irving. Time will tell if he will continue to be content as a glorified role player in the Cav’s system, especially if this roster does not meet expectations. Bearing in mind that Love has an opt-out option in his contract, Perhaps Coach Blatt would do well to more consistently involve him in their half-court sets. As the Cav’s try to mix and match with Varejao and Thompson to provide Love with the defensive cover he needs, this dynamic is definitely one to keep an eye on as the season progresses.
Again, Cleveland’s talent means that scoring should never really be an issue for them, however, the old chestnut ‘defence wins championships,’ should have the Cav’s concerned certainly, if not worried yet.