It was Cleveland’s first game since their busy trade deadline, shipping out six different key rotation players. Cavaliers’ new faces, Rodney Hood, George Hill, Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson did not suit up for tonight’s matchup against the Hawks.
Although Tyronn Lue only turned to eight guys tonight, Cleveland came up with one of their best performances in 2018. While it was against a struggling Hawks’ squad, Cleveland hadn’t played this complete of a game in a while. The end result was a 123-107 win.
As usual, LeBron James led the way with another triple-double, adding 22 points, 17 assists and 12 rebounds. Kyle Korver torched his former team, dropping 30 points on 7-of-13 from beyond the arc. Jeff Green was effective off the bench as well, adding 24 points on 56 percent shooting.
But the best all-around performance tonight came from Cleveland’s rookie, Cedi Osman, who was making his first start tonight. Osman finished with 16 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists on 6-of-9 shooting. As James said after the Cavs’ last game, Osman’s energy on both ends of the floor is infectious.
From start to finish, Cleveland played the terrific energy on both ends of the floor. Their hot shooting from deep — 15-of-35 — played a key role in their victory tonight.
On the flip side, Dennis Schroder continued to give the Cavaliers’ fits with his athleticism, scoring 25 points tonight. Aside from that, the Hawks got some help from Taurean Prince, Ersan Ilyasova and Kent Bazemore, but it wasn’t nearly enough to dethrone a motivated Cavaliers’ team.
Cleveland will now make it’s way to Boston for an Eastern Conference showdown on Sunday against the Celtics. They’ll likely have all four of their new acquisitions active against Boston. Tip-off is set for 3:30 p.m.