The young Cleveland Cavaliers continue to fight for a playoff berth in the East. However, Cleveland’s defensive struggles, combined with Atlanta’s hot offence, puts the game in the Hawks’ favor.
Atlanta Hawks def. Cleveland Cavaliers
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|JB Bickerstaff||Head Coach||Nate McMillan|
|42-33 (7th in East)||Standing||38-37 (10th in East)|
|111.3 (20th of 30)||Off Rtg||115.9 (2nd of 30)|
|108.6 (5th of 30)||Def Rtg||115.1 (26th of 30)|
|96.1 (25th of 30)||Pace||97.5 (20th of 30)|
Leaders (Per Game)
|D. Garland (21.5)||PPG||T. Young (28.0)|
|J. Allen (10.8)||RPG||C. Capela (11.8)|
|D. Garland (8.6)||APG||T. Young (9.6)|
|D. Garland (1.2)||SPG||B. Bogdanovic (1.1)|
|E. Mobley (1.6)||BPG||C. Capela (1.3)|
|E. Davis (.688)/D. Garland (7.9)||FG%/FGM||O. Okongwu (.693)/T. Young (9.3)|
|K. Love (.386)/D. Garland (2.5)||3P%/3PM||G. Dieng (.452)/T. Young (3.0)|
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|Collin Sexton||Cleveland Cavaliers||19 Nov 2021||Out (Ankle)||Sexton underwent surgery on his torn meniscus and will miss the rest of the season.|
|Jarrett Allen||Cleveland Cavaliers||6 Mar 2022||Out (Finger)||Allen has a fractured finger and will be out indefinitely.|
|Dean Wade||Cleveland Cavaliers||28 Mar 2022||Out (Knee)||Wade underwent knee surgery and will not return this season.|
|Evan Mobley||Cleveland Cavaliers||30 Mar 2022||Out (Ankle)||Mobley will miss the Cavaliers’ next 3 games.|
|Rajon Rondo||Cleveland Cavaliers||30 Mar 2022||Out (Ankle)||Rondo was OUT for Cleveland’s Wednesday (Mar 30) game.|
|John Collins||Atlanta Hawks||18 Mar 2022||Out (Finger/Foot)||Collins is sidelined indefinitely.|
|De’Andre Hunter||Atlanta Hawks||29 Mar 2022||Day to Day (Knee)||Hunter was listed as QUESTIONABLE for Atlanta’s Wednesday (Mar 30) game.|
|Jalen Johnson||Atlanta Hawks||29 Mar 2022||Day to Day (Concussion)||Johnson was listed as QUESTIONABLE for Atlanta’s Wednesday (Mar 30) game.|
|Skylar Mays||Atlanta Hawks||29 Mar 2022||Out (Illness)||Mays was listed as OUT for Atlanta’s Wednesday (Mar 30) game.|
|Danilo Gallinari||Atlanta Hawks||30 Mar 2022||Out (Elbow)||Gallinari was listed as OUT for Atlanta’s Wednesday (Mar 30) game.|
The Cleveland Cavaliers face off against an Atlanta Hawks team that is much more dangerous than their record suggests. Cleveland’s defence will need to be on their toes, especially when you consider the offensive potential of the Hawks.
The Cavaliers will need to be disciplined in the halfcourt if they hope to take down the Hawks. Born from the playmaking ability of Trae Young, the Hawks average 3.4 more assists and 1.6 fewer turnovers in wins than losses.
The perimeter defence of the Cleveland Cavaliers is usually quite solid, but without the likes of Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen minding the paint they have much less room for error. How Cleveland defend the point of attack will determine their chances at victory.
DARIUS GARLAND…What a shot. ?
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) March 15, 2022
Injuries and fatigue have caught up with the Cleveland Cavaliers. It’ll be up to Darius Garland, who has been playing at an All-Star level, to try and carry his team to victory.
In his last game, the Cavaliers All-Star posted 25 points, 12 assists, and 3 steals in 40 minutes of play. He shot just 7 of 17 from the field, but his 5 threes and 6 of 6 night from the free throw line made up for his scoring struggles.
With fewer options than ever, Garland will need to show that his scoring game can be sustained without his better secondary pieces. If he can’t find his scoring touch early, the Cavaliers have nowhere else to turn.
The Atlanta Hawks may be too far out of position to make the top 6, but a win over the Cavaliers could be a difference-maker in their play-in tournament positioning.
Having gone just 4-6 over their last 10 games, the Cavaliers’ defence hasn’t been up to their own standard over recent games. They are allowing their opponents to shoot 48.6% per game while losing the rebounding battle.
Atlanta must take advantage of their size if they want to beat the Cavaliers. Cleveland’s perimeter play is still solid, but without their big men in the paint the Hawks have a decided advantage inside.
Another monster double-double from CC last night ?
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) March 29, 2022
When the Atlanta Hawks take on the Cavaliers, all eyes will be on Clint Capela to take control of the game in the paint. With Mobley and Allen likely out, Capela won’t have a match on the inside.
In Atlanta’s game against the Indiana Pacers, Capela posted an impressive 22 points and 15 blocks in just 30 minutes of play. Capela’s ability to control the game on the glass, especially on the offensive end, can be a game changer for the usually defence-averse Hawks.
Capela won’t be creating opportunities on his own, but his ability as a finisher will be valuable for the playmaking ability of Trae Young. If Capela establishes himself inside early, the Hawks should come out the winner.
|Cleveland Cavaliers vs Atlanta Hawks Information|
|Who||Cleveland Cavaliers vs Atlanta Hawks|
|Where||State Farm Arena, Atlanta, Georgia|
|When||7:30 PM EST, March 31st, 2022|
|How to Watch||Bally Sports Ohio, Bally Sports SE-ATL, NBA League Pass (Stream)|
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Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
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