The remnants of the Cleveland Cavaliers travel to Atlanta to take on the Hawks Friday night. This game has the potential to look like the battle of Helm’s Deep, where a few Cavs players try to hold off the Hawks long enough for reinforcements to arrive. We don’t know which Cavs players will be ready to play tonight, other than a few holdovers. But with the Bucks and Wizards on their tails, this game still important from a seeding standpoint.
Who: Cleveland Cavaliers (31-22) at Atlanta Hawks (17-38)
When: 7:30 pm
Where: Philips Arena - Atlanta, Georgia
Where on my eyeballs: Fox Sports Ohio
How LeBron James feels tonight:
While the Cavaliers were incredibly active on trade deadline day, the Hawks were surprisingly quiet. Other than sending Luke Babbit back to the Miami Heat, the fire sale that was anticipated with them did not occur.
From a Cavs perspective, they may not have the players they traded for, but they did trade for a better mood from James. As long as the team wasn’t celebrating the departure of certain teammates in Atlanta, whoever is in the lineup should be in a far better mood than we’ve seen recently.
I expect to see heavy minutes for Jeff Green and Cedi Osman off of the bench, to help make up for some of the roster holes. Jose Calderon likely will be dusted off, with both Isaiah Thomas and Derrick Rose off the team.
We’ll see if the Cavs can overcome their lack of personnel, but it’s worth noting that most of their players that weren’t a net negative lately are still in the lineup. If it isn’t enough, well at least it would help the Hawks overtake the Brooklyn Nets in the standings. To quote Omar Little, “even if I miss, I can’t miss”.
Fear the Sword’s Fearless Prediction:
The Cavs will likely slow down the pace, knowing they don’t have the legs to play in a track-meet. Cavs win 104-98.