After last night’s blowout victory at Quicken Loans Arena by the Cleveland Cavaliers over the Atlanta Hawks, fans seem to be not only regarding the Hawks as a speed bump on the way to a title.
Not to be a wet blanket, but we believe Friday night’s game could be the sternest test the wine and gold have faced in the playoffs thus far.
Mike Budenholzer’s team was thoroughly embarrassed yesterday. He pulled his starters toward the end of the third quarter.
Despite the lopsided win yesterday, and the nine straight victories by Cleveland over the last two seasons, the Hawks aren’t the Philadelphia 76ers. They won 60 games last season and won 48 this year.
And if they have any pride at all, and we believe they do, they have some pro’s pros over there in Paul Millsap and Al Hoford, they will come out Friday night and fight on their home floor to get back into the series.
TNT’s Charles Barkley hammered the attitude of the Hawks as well, basically saying that Atlanta’s players lost their fight after halftime, when they needed to set a tone for game three.
Our guess is the series will take a physical tone too, especially from the home team, because they will be playing angry. They have to be sick and tired of the Cavs beating them, particularly in the playoffs.
This doesn’t mean the Cavaliers won’t win, because at this point, Cleveland has to be in the heads of the Hawks. They have to wonder what they have to do to defeat the number one seed in the East.
All we are seeing is that last night’s game was probably an anomaly, the Cavs aren’t winning by more than 20 points again in the series.
Since we don’t take anything for granted, fans shouldn’t think for a minute that if Cleveland advances to the conference finals, that will not be a cakewalk either.
The fans need to slow their roll a tad.
The guys wearing the wine and gold uniforms are saying the correct things and the supporters of the squad should listen.
JR Smith said it right after the game. All the Cavs did was hold the home court, and now they have to go on the road for the first time in the series and win in Atlanta. They weren’t sending the NBA a “message”, they were just doing what they were supposed to do.
It is understandable that the fans are getting excited. The Cavs are the only team that hasn’t lost a playoff game, and through six post-season games, their outside shooting is on point.
Last night’s 25 three point makes is proof of that.
But remember that for the most part, NBA players have pride and they don’t like to be embarrassed. That’s why we think it won’t be easy on Friday night, that’s all.
Now, if the Cavs can overcome the Hawks’ emotion in game three and come out with a victory, this series won’t come back to Cleveland.
Atlanta likely will not have anything left.
Remember, every playoff game is different. Friday night will be no exception.