Cleveland Cavaliers Suffer First Defeat To Hawks
The Cleveland Cavaliers have suffered their first loss of the season against the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday, 110-106.
The road to 82-0 is going to have to wait until next year.
The Cavs were going to lose eventually, but many fans didn’t think it would be against the Hawks–at least not this early. But the lapses in energy and inconsistent play within quarters finally caught up to them.
It was a game of runs from start to finish. For the Hawks, they were able to hit their three-point shots and get to the basket with little resistance. As for the Cavaliers, the shots just weren’t going in.
Instead of changing the game plan to more of an interior attack, they kept taking three-point shots that didn’t go in. They were 11-for-42 from long range compared to the Hawks’ 11-for-29.
That’s not a formula for winning games.
Cleveland also struggled on the defensive side of the ball. Tristan Thompson was struggling so badly against Dwight Howard, that coach Tyronn Lue traded defense and rebounds for offense by bringing in Channing Frye.
They left numerous players wide open to hit their shots and had no interest in playing team defense. Luckily for the Cavs, Kyle Korver wasn’t playing.
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The return of Howard to the Eastern Conference brought back terrible memories. I had flashbacks of 2009 with Howard getting anything he wanted inside the paint and blocking every shot with the Orlando Magic.
The Cavaliers got the game to down to a four-point deficit with 25 seconds left in the fourth quarter. But Bazemore hit a dagger three-point shot, as he was doing all night. He was 4-of-6 from beyond the arc.
Kyrie Irving and LeBron James did all they could to help mount a comeback, but the rest of the team couldn’t make shots. J.R. Smith struggled terribly, going 1-for-10 from three-point range. However, he’s still in training camp mode after missing most of it.
This was a game where I wanted to see Mike Dunleavy take over off the bench, but he’s still trying to find his place within the offense. He only had three points on 1-of-4 shooting.
Once the season gets going, he should find his niche and be the energy, and automatic offense off the bench.
The good thing is the Cavaliers get to face the Hawks three more times this season.
Hopefully this game is a wake-up call for the Cavs to start out strong and not have lapses on both ends of the floor at crucial times.
They are the world champions and with that comes respect, but at the same time, every team in the NBA is going to come out like the Hawks did and give it their best shot.
Will the Cavaliers be able to withstand being the hunted for the next 75 games? We will soon find out.