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Cavaliers vs. Hawks: No Andy Could Pose Problems

The Cavaliers face off against the Atlanta Hawks tonight, again without center Anderson Varejao in the lineup.


The Cavaliers are scorching hot right now by their standards, having won two consecutive road games against the Bucks and Wizards. Can their good fortune continue tonight to begin a (gasp) winning streak? Will the Hawks again falter against this rambunctious Cavaliers' squad? What is a horseshoe? What does a horseshoe do? Are there any horsesocks? Is anyone listening to me?*

Who: Atlanta Hawks (17-9) at Cleveland Cavaliers (7-23)

When: 7:30 P.M Eastern

Where: Quicken Loans Arena -- Cleveland, OH

Where on my eyeballs: Fox Sports Ohio / NBA League Pass

Tickets: Cleveland Cavaliers' tickets

What's the line: Hawks -5.5

Obligatory Clip:

Winning Streak (via Equallydiverse)

So what is in store for tonight? The Cavs have played pretty well the past two games, really without superb performances from Kyrie Irving. They will again have to play without the services of Anderson Varejao, who will again miss tonight's game with a bruised knee. The emerging story line in his absence has been the play of Tristan Thompson, who has had a double-double in each of the past four games that Varejao has missed. Thompson and rookie center Tyler Zeller have their work cut out for them tonight going up against the frontline of the Hawks, featuring all-star calibre players in Josh Smith and Al Horford: That will be the key matchup tonight: if the Cavs can keep that frontline in check, they should perform well. Otherwise, look for the team to struggle. Another major headline: can Luke Walton continue being useful, or does that finally end tonight?

Fear the Sword's Fearless Prediction: The Cavs are able to keep it close for three quarters. But with the missing Varejao, Horford starts manhandling Zeller in the post late, and Lou Williams makes a couple of clutch shots. Cavs lose 97-90, but get another strong peformance from Thompson, and also get another seemingly random outburst from Dion Waiters, who gets 19 points qnd 6 assists with only one turnover.