The Cleveland Cavaliers had no answers for the Hawks in the first quarter, allowing 31 points including 13 to Joe Johnson. This was a recurring theme throughout the entire game, as the Hawks scored with relative ease, shooting over 50% from the floor on their way to a 103-87 win in Cleveland.
Cavs Leaders: Points: Gee, 20; Rebounds: Gee, 9; Assists: Irving, 10
The Cavs had no clue what to do with Joe Johnson. He scored early and often as Anthony Parker provided zero resistance. As stated earlier, Johnson scored 13 in the first quarter and finished the game with 28 points on 11 of 16 shooting to go along with 5 assists and 4 rebounds. Byron Scott had seen enough of Parker's "efforts" on defense and chose to let Daniel Gibson start the second half. It didn't really work. Johnson still got his points and did the damage necessary to take down the Cavs.
Josh Smith had a horrid night shooting the ball for Atlanta. He scored just 7 points on 3 of 15 shooting. Fortunately for the Hawks, J-Smoove contributed in other ways, dishing out 9 assists and grabbing 8 boards. Antawn Jamison, had a similarly terrible shooting night. The Jump Shooter was 6 of 22 from the floor for 17 points. Yikes.
Tristan Thompson's debut in the starting lineup did not exactly as planned. He got pushed around and grabbed just 6 rebounds in 35 minutes of play. He scored just 7 points on 3 of 8 shooting and had zero blocks. He'll get better, but this transition will obviously take some time. It'll be interesting to see if Byron Scott has the patience to see it through.
Luke Walton, Ryan Hollins, and Semih Erden all remained on the bench for the entirety of the game. That's the way it should be.
Alonzo Gee led the Cavs in scoring? Okay. Gee had 20 points on 9 of 16 shooting and also led the team with 9 boards and 3 crazy dunks. I really like Alonzo Gee.
Manny Harris entered the game for one minute was simply unstoppable. He went on a vicious scoring tear, dropping 4 points on 2 of 2 shooting. He's now scoring 23.6 points on 60% shooting per 36 minutes. His PER is an astounding 23.7. HARRISTERIA.
Donald Sloan also played in this game and is now averaging 36 assists per 36 minute with a PER of 35.5. The team scores 220 points per 100 possessions while Sloan is on the floor. He's on pace for one of the best seasons in NBA history.
Fear The Sword's Player Of The Game:
The rookie recorded his first career double-double in the first game without Ramon Sessions? Is this merely a coincidence or a sign of bigger things to come? Truthfully, it's probably a combination of both. Without Ramon, Kyrie has full control of the offense whenever he's on the court. He's never playing off the ball because Boobie Gibson cannot run point whatsoever. Kyrie has more opportunities to dish out assists to go with his usual scoring. The Kid had 19 points and 10 assists with just two turnovers in Sunday's loss. Looking for his assists totals to go up a decent amount for the remainder of the season as he fully embraces the floor general role.