Date: December 26, 2013
Tip-Off Time: 7:00 PM ET
TV Channel: SportSouth (Local in Atlanta), NBA League Pass
Radio: 92.9 FM (Atlanta Flagship), Atlanta Hawks Radio Network Affiliates
Live Stream: League Pass Broadband
Merry Christmas, everyone! The Hawks are back in action after a little holiday break, and they’ll be looking to get the ugly taste of an overtime loss to Miami out of their mouths when they touch down in Cleveland to take on the Cavs.
When these two teams last met on December 6th, the Hawks blew the doors off of the Cavs, with significant help from Kyrie Irving’s worst game of the season (and really, his career), but this time, I’d expect a bit more from Kyrie. The lead guard is still near the top of the league in production from a point guard (21.5 points, 6.0 assists per game) and the match-up between he and Jeff Teague is the best of the night.
Cleveland currently sits 27th in the league in “net rating”, allowing 6.7 more points per 100 possessions than they’re scoring, and that’s largely due to their offensive woes. Aside from Irving, they’ve gotten underwhelming production from guys like Dion Waiters and #1 overall pick Anthony Bennett, and they’ll surely be relying on old friend Andrew Bynum for some big minutes against Al Horford and company.
Up front, Chris Bosh and Al Horford square off in what is always an interesting battle. Bosh is “only” averaging 15 points and 6 rebounds per game, but he’s on the Manu Ginobili minutes plan (lol) playing only 28.7 per game, and something tells me that will spike a bit here. There has been argument between Horford and Bosh for years, and for my money, Horford is the better player, and he’ll have an opportunity to showcase that on Monday evening.
Kyle Korver watch! Kyle will be looking for his 97th consecutive game with a 3-pointer (already an NBA record), and the Cavs are a prime target. Cleveland is in the bottom-10 in opponent’s 3-point percentage, and with the way Kyle has been shooting the ball from all over the court (leading the league in true shooting percentage), it’s becoming comical with how easy he makes things look.
Our pals in Las Vegas have made the Hawks a 2.5-point favorite on the road, showing little to no respect for the home team. On paper, the currently 3rd-seeded Hawks are a much, much better team than Cleveland, but the Cavs do have talent, and if the Hawks don’t show up (or if they turn the ball over at will, etc.), this could be a very competitive game.
Stay tuned for updates throughout the night, and a full recap to follow.