With the 2014-15 NBA Playoffs for the Eastern Conference now set to begin on Wednesday the 20th of May and finishing with the 7th game of the series if need on the 1st of June 2015 with the No. 2 Seed Cavaliers of Cleveland playing the No. 1 seed Hawks of Atlanta with all game at this time scheduled for 8:30 PM ET.
The 1st Game of the 7 Game Series is scheduled to be played in Atlanta on the 20th of May at 8:30 PM ET with the Cavaliers at the Hawks and the opening odds have the Hawks of Atlanta favored on the Point line at -1 with the Total 197 ½ and -120 on the Money Line, with the comeback on the Cavaliers of Cleveland at +1 and Even on the Money Line with the game to be seen on TNT TV.
The 2nd Game will also be played in Atlanta and on Friday the 22nd of May again with the Cavaliers at the Hawks and scheduled for 8:30 PM ET. Then the 3rd Game move to Cleveland on Sunday the 24th of May with the Hawks visiting the Cavaliers and game time is 8:30 PM ET. The 4th Game is also in Cleveland on Tuesday the 26th of May with the Hawks still visiting the Cavaliers and game time at 8:30 PM ET. The 5th Game (if needed) moves back to Atlanta on Thursday the 28th of May with the Cavaliers visiting the Hawks and game time at 8:30 PM ET. Then the 6th Game (if needed) goes back to Cleveland on Saturday the 30th of May with the game at 8:30 PM ET. The 7th and Final Game (if needed) moves back to Atlanta on Monday the 1st of June 2015 with the Cavaliers visiting the Hawks and game time is 8:30 PM ET.
Coming into this Eastern Conference Finals, the Hawks of Atlanta eliminated the Wizard of Washington who did not relinquish easily, and now the Hawks play the Cavaliers of Cleveland who eliminated the Bulls of Chicago to make it to this Conference Final Series. We ask can LeBron lead the Cavaliers past the Hawks and into their 1st NBA Final since back in 2007, or will the amazing win stretch by the Hawks continue through this series?
In this Series this series there are some 4 prominent factors. The 1st is LeBron James, who the Hawks must stop and set as their 1st priority as he is certain danger for Atlanta in this series. Alone, LeBron has the ability to change the course of a basketball game with his skill all around the court. He has the talent to defend different positions; he can pass, rebound and shoot with the best in the NBA. It’s like he is the entire Hawks team compiled into a single player. He will be guarded by the Hawks D. Carroll for the series, and in the 2 times they’ve met in a game as he held LeBron to 20% on his field goals, and was able to make the 4 time NBA MVP to commit 5 turnover. But keeping LeBron guarded down is a big order for Carroll, but if the Hawks can limit Lebron’s shooting percentages, the Hawks will have a much better chance to beat the Cavaliers in each game. LeBron James in the 2014-15 seasons for the Cavaliers is their leader per game with steals at 1.9, rebounds at 10.3, assists at 7.8 and points scored per game at 26.6.
The 2nd is Kyrie Irving the dangerous guard of the Cavaliers, who is struggling with a knee injury that he acquired late in the 6th Game against the Bulls. Cleveland cannot afford to lose in from the lineup in this final series with the Hawks. Since K. Love is out for the season, Irving needs to step up and play as good as LeBron can play as the Hawks will be trying to bury LeBron. The Cavaliers are hoping that the 6 days between series will give Irving the time to get back to 100% at game time on Wednesday. In post season play Irving has averaged 19.9 points per game with 3.5 assists.
The battle in the frontcourt in next as it begins and ends with the Hawks P. Milsap and A. Horford who are the big players who can punish the opposing defenders with their varied talents. They can shoot from any place on the court, and are great on the pick and roll plays and are very good passers on the court. The 2 in postseason have scored 15.7 and 15.6 per game on average respectively to date.
The Cavaliers also have a duo in T. Thompson and T. Mozgov whose goal in this series will be to make the game a struggle for the Hawks Milsap and Horford. For Cleveland Mozgov is their best defender who has averaged 2.2 blocks in these playoff games to lead his team in that category, while Thompson has averaged 1.2 blocks in postseason play. During this postseason the Cavaliers in their frontcourt have only allowed their opponents some 44.8 points per game, and that’s the best ranking of all playoff teams.
The 4th factor is the 3-point shooting of the Atlanta Hawks who are a team that can do it from past the arc. They’re a team that can score on the bombs and that should concern the Cavaliers. Their best 3-point shooter is K. Korver, and the best in the NBA who in the post season is averaging 3 3-pointers each game to date. The Hawks in the playoffs to date are averaging as team 9.9 3-points each game. It will be interesting to see if the Cavaliers defense who in the playoffs has only allowed 6.4 3-pointers each game can hold down the Hawks in this series.