Atlanta Hawks: 4 Observations from Cavaliers Game

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Nov 18, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer reacts to a call by referee Kevin Scott (28) in the fourth quarter of their game against the Sacramento Kings at Philips Arena. The Hawks won 103-97. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports


Bad officiating is no excuse for the poor play of the Atlanta Hawks in the final three quarters of the game, but nonetheless played a role in affecting the team’s play. One of the reasons why the Hawks could not match up with the physicality of the Cavaliers is some of the questionable calls that Cleveland is the beneficiary of on both ends of the floor.

It was also difficult for the Atlanta Hawks to get any calls on the offensive end. The most controversial call of the night came in the second quarter after Justin Holiday was dealt a blow to the head on a rebound and a foul was not assessed. One of the referees rendered a technical foul call on Head Coach Mike Budenholzer, who then was ejected from the game. Replay shows that he may have bumped into the official (which you can’t do), but in the end it was inconclusive and probably did not merit an ejection.

On two separate occassions, Kevin Love hooked Kyle Korver when driving to the basket, only for Korver to get called for the foul. Lebron James also pushed off of Thabo Sefolosha multiple times, only for Sefolosha to get a foul called on him. Still, Love and James have done this for years, and the Hawks should have expected this going into the game.

Next: Atlanta Hawks Fall to Cavaliers, 109-97

The litany of foul calls throughout the game killed the Atlanta Hawks rhythm, and affected the way they executed their game play. As previously mentioned, it’s still no excuse for their poor play, but it did have an adverse effect on how the game was played.