Double Dip With Cavs Could Be Big Boost For The New Year
Closing out 2009 this week with back to back games against the Cavs, the Hawks need to send a message by beating the Cavs. While winning early has put the Hawks in a great spot, beating a team like Cleveland now that they have hit their stride, could be huge for confidence and momentum. I have no doubt that beating the Celtics early this year has done wonders for the Hawks’ young season. The Cavs had some things to work out early and but winning nine out of your last ten shows that you have fixed the parts when needed. With back to back games and finishing out 2009 with the Cavs this week, the Hawks will undoubtedly learn about themselves and their opponent.
Both games take place in the toughest buildings in the conference as the Hawks are 12-2 tied for best mark at home in the east tied with King James on his court. Defending home your own court is a must
The last time we saw the Cavaliers they were celebrating here in Atlanta as they were moving on in the playoffs. The last time we saw the Cavaliers, Joe Johnson and Al Horford were both less than 100 percent healthy. Al said this week that if he had to do it again, he would sit out longer and may not play with the same injury to reduce the risk of long term injury, which illustrates how hurt he was.
With Joe Smith being the only injury of note, closing out the calendar year on a good note is within reach and important as a tough road lies in wait in January.
KEYS FOR BEATING THE CAVS
RUN SHAQ- he is still Shaq in the post and still 37 in transition.
SHOOT THE THREE- the Hawks and Cavs both can make the long range shot. I have no problem going inside and keeping up the good work in the paint but if we can make the money ball shots early it may force the Cavs to do the same and put pressure on them.
FOUL WHEN NECESSARY- Cleveland is 21st in the league at the foul line. In a pinch give up no easy buckets and make them shoot free throws. We have a lot of big bodies…and a lot of fouls to give.
CONTINUE TO FIGHT ON THE ROAD
The Hawks have not lost a road trip (when playing multiple games) this season and have not lost back to back road games in the process either.
WHO AM I?
I’m averaging 17 points and 9 rebounds in the past five games and am shooting 85 percent from the free throw line. Ladies and gentleman I am Al Horford.
WHEN SMOOVE IS IN FOUL TROUBLE…
He plays hard. I asked josh Smith if he changes his play when he is in foul trouble and he said he remains aggressive. He knows his teammates feed off of his energy and he will continue to play hard and defend the paint. Let’s hope he is not sidelined by the whistles this week.