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Gameblog: Cleveland vs. Atlanta Hawks - Quicken Loans Arena

By George Thomas Published: November 22, 2008

Post mortem:


You know what’s funny?  I wrote a piece on Delonte West about 10 days ago about how well he’d been playing since coming back to the team.  I saw him on a limited basis toward the end of last season and the playoffs last year.  There’s a vast difference in who he is now and it’s definitely translated to the court.  As is custom, someone just looked at the points he averaged per game and sneered.  Tonight proved that it’s not just offense with West.  It’s defense as well.  What stands out most is the fact that with some help he held Joe Johnson to 4 points.  The guy had been averaging 25. He plays on both sides of the ball and that’s why Mike Brown starts him at shooting guard.


The Cavaliers barely looked back in this one after going on an 11-0 run.  They led by as many as 28 and the Hawks, at one point, chopped that to 11 in the fourth quarter.  But unlike in Detroit (I’m beginning to think the team has a mental block when it comes to the Pistons), they regrouped and held firm.  Crucial 3-pointers by LeBron, Delonte and Mo Williams helped down the stretch.

But the Cavs won this one because they protected the ball with only 9 turnovers, shot a blistering 51 percent from the floor and smashed the glass (barely) 41-37.  Instead of collapsing in the third quarter, they won it, along with the first two.  Still, the team didn’t put all four together as the Hawks outscored them 38-31 in the fourth.

 

Let’s face it, the likelihood that the Cavs would hold the Hawks to the pathetic 33 percent they shot for the entire game.  Ultimately, it showed that the team possesses the resiliency to bounce back after a tough loss.

 

Quotable:

 

Mike Brown on the Hawks comeback:


Those are NBA players there and they’re just going to keep playing hard,’’ Coach Mike Brown said of the Hawks’ comeback. ‘’They found their rhythm a little bit.  There was plenty of time left in the game.  They scored a few points and the next thing you know, they, as a team, gained some confidence.  They hit some shots and made some plays.

 

LeBron James on the same:

 


Every team will make runs and that happens. We did a good job of defending and executing on offense.

At the half:

I don’t know what happened after the Detroit Pistons game and won’t likely ever know, but the Cavaliers came out on fire tonight. Thus far they are shooting 51.3 percent from the floor and lead the Atlanta Hawks 49-32. The reason:  defense.  Right now, they own the boards 24-18.  They’ve held the Hawks to 33 percent shooting – mind you, that could change because Atlanta got some pretty good looks and the shots just didn’t fall.   So far they lead on fast break points and scoring in the paint 20-12.  They’re playing with fire and intensity.  Maybe it’s being at home where as of right now, they’re undefeated. Delonte West and Mo Williams lead the Cavs with 9 points each, while Mike Bibby leads the Hawks with 10.


Game:  Cavaliers (9-3) vs. Atlanta Hawks (8-4)


 

I don’t know what happened after the Detroit Pistons game and won’t likely ever know, but the Cavaliers came out on fire tonight. Thus far they are shooting 51.3 percent from the floor and lead the Atlanta Hawks 49-32. The reason:  defense.  Right now, they own the boards 24-18.  They’ve held the Hawks to 33 percent shooting – mind you, that could change because Atlanta got some pretty good looks and the shots just didn’t fall.   So far they lead on fast break points and scoring in the paint 20-12.  They’re playing with fire and intensity.  Maybe it’s being at home where as of right now, they’re undefeated. Delonte West and Mo Williams lead the Cavs with 9 points each, while Mike Bibby leads the Hawks with 10.


Game:  Cavaliers (9-3) vs. Atlanta Hawks (8-4)


 


 
 

Broadcast:

TV:  FSOhio

WAKR (1590 AM); WTAM (1100 AM), WHBC (1480 AM)


Starters: Cavs:  LeBron James (F); Ben Wallace (F); Zydrunas Ilgauskas (C); Delonte West (G); Mo Williams (G).  Hawks:   Marvin Williams (F); Al Horford (F); Zaza Pachulia (C); Joe Johnson (G); Mike Bibby (G). 

Officials: Greg Willard, Brian Forte, Courtney Kirkland

 Injuries:  Speedy Claxton (left knee chonodromalacia), Josh Smith (sprain left ankle)

Streaking:  Cavs have lost one; the Hawks have won two in a row.

What to watch:

 -          How the Cavs bounce back from that ugly loss against the Pistons, a game that they should have had in hand, but allowed to be stolen from them in the second half.  Mike Brown said that he hopes it’s something that they could learn.

-          The Atlanta Hawks’ Marvin Williams has been on a tear the past two games  with consecutive double-doubles, including one game against the Charlotte Bobcats where he scored 22 points and pulled down 10 rebounds.

-          The Cavs’ Mo Williams averaged more than 20 points per game in the past five contests.  So far he’s as advertised. 

Quotable:

 From the coach’s office:

 Mike Brown on firing of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s P.J. Carlesimo:


 You feel bad for guys like P.J. especially the older guys.  You understand that the same as you get hired, you get fired. To be Jerry Sloan, to be Gregg Popovich, to be Phil Jackson, to be Pat Riley is very hard to do. 

 

From the locker room:

 LeBron James on his name being the first one mentioned after the New York Knicks made two trades to clear salary cap room:


 They didn’t care about the guys that was coming to them.  It doesn’t bother me; it’s funny, but at the same time people need something to write about some times.

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