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Cavaliers vs. Hawks: game preview, start time, TV information

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The Cavs face the Hawks tonight in a game that might not be competitive.

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Atlanta Hawks Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Cavaliers start a home and home series tonight against the Atlanta Hawks in a game that could help the Cavs further grasp the top seed in the East. Here’s our preview.

Who: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Atlanta Hawks

When: 7:30 p..m.

Where: Quicken Loans Arena - Cleveland, Ohio

TV: NBA TV

Enemy Blog: Peachtree Hoops

Cavs injuries: Tristan Thompson (out, sprained right thumb)

Hawks injuries: Paul Millsap (out, left knee synovitis), Thabo Sefolosha (out, right groin strain), Kent Bazmore (right knee bruise, out), Dennis Schroeder (foot sprain, doubtful), Tim Hardaway Jr. (doubtful, left knee sprain, right knee contusion)

Keys to the game

  • As noted above, the Cavs are playing a rather depleted Hawks team on Friday. Aside from Dwight Howard, none of Atlanta’s best players will suit up and the Cavs aren’t expected to rest players. On paper, this is a golden opportunity to pick up an easy win and perhaps rest the likes of LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love late.
  • This would also seem like a possible game to get Larry Sanders some reps. The team is thin up front with Thompson missing his second straight game and, if it’s a blowout, there’s no reason to not play Sanders. Better he play and get some reps than a rotation player risk getting hurt.
  • With a win, the Cavs will be a full two games up on the Hawks with three games to go. And because Cleveland owns the tiebreaker over Boston, the team’s lead is essentially three. In short: the Cavs are getting really, really close to locking down the No. 1 seed and being able to rest if they so choose.
  • One note: Don’t expect to see Kay Felder tonight, as he’s still on assignment with the Canton Charge. He’ll play tomorrow when Canton takes on Raptors 905 in Game 2 of their playoff series.

Fear the Sword’s Fearless Prediction

Unless the Cavs just play really bad, this should be an easy win. Cleveland 107, Hawks 91.