Postgame Thoughts: Hawks TCOB Against Cavs
A few thoughts coming up on the Hawks’ workmanlike 102-94 victory over the Cavaliers at Philips Arena:
— This wasn’t the prettiest game. There were stumbles, bumbles, missed shots, airballed FTs, scrapes; it was ugly. But it also was never really that close despite the score, and the Hawks held the Cavs at arms length the entire night to pick up their 42nd win on the season.
— 42 wins equals a winning season, by the way, and once again congrats to this team on the accomplishment. It may not seem like much, but given the expectations at the beginning of the season, it’s something they should all be proud of.
— Devin Harris brought his A game tonight, setting the pace early with several layups and keeping pressure on the Cavs guards all night. With no Kyrie Irving or Dion Waiters available, Harris knew he had a mismatch and he took full advantage. When the final buzzer sounded, Harris had put up a new season-high with 25 points in a season-high 43 minutes.
— His backcourt mate, Jeff Teague, was no slouch either, hitting a game-high 4 3-pointers and scoring 19 overall to go with a team-leading 9 assists. At the risk of opening a wound, can you imagine what this team’s backcourt would be capable of if Lou Williams were still available?
— Josh Smith’s shot wasn’t tracking early, but he kept his name in the scorecard by contributing in other ways until he got it going offensively. Midway through the third quarter it appeared he’d be a shoo-in for a triple double, but I think Smoove knew it as well and things got a bit forced. Ah well. He’ll just have to settle for 18 points, 14 rebounds, and 8 assists. Poor guy.
— Things got a bit snippy tonight for some reason. Cleveland’s Daniel Gibson got tossed early on for arguing with the referees, and then Luke Walton did something incredibly foolish, shoving Ivan Johnson in the back on a rebound. Pretty brave there Luke. The officials originally called a flagrant foul, but after review determined it was nothing that sinister.
— Kyle Korver was relatively quiet tonight, but naturally we must mention that his 3-point streak continues apace, as KK hit a pair of them tonight to run his Hawks record to 68 straight games.
All in all, the Hawks took care of business, and at this stage in the season, that’s all you need. Get that W, then move on to the next opponent. Which in this case is a potential first-round opponent, a Wednesday night matchup on ESPN with the Knicks. Game time for that one is 7 PM, so make sure you head down to Philips a little early to cheer the team on.
What’d you think?