(Atlanta, Ga) – At the trade deadline, the Cleveland Cavaliers shocked the sports’ world with some blockbuster moved that frankly had some people asking WTF? Isaiah Thomas was sent to the Lakers while D. Wade found himself back in Miami and Derrick Rose…well, he went to Utah, but was quickly released. Channing Frye, Iman Shumpert and Jae Crowder were also released.For the Cavs they picked up Rodney Hood from the Utah Jazz and George Hill from the Sacramento Kings to go with the acquisitions of Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. from the Lakers. Post game I asked LeBron about the changes between the new lineup and the old lineup.
Granted none of them hit the court tonight which left even more suspense hanging over Cleveland’s head but it played out as expected.Malcolm Delaney and Dennis Schroder got started out of the gate and by halftime Schroder led all scorers with 19 pts, but it ended pretty much there with him only scoring 6 pts in the the second half.
The Cavs on 53% percent of shooting would end the 2nd qtr ahead by 5 (61-56). Jeff Green, who the Cavs acquired during the trade proved he fits right in with the offense playing 32 minutes and putting 24 on the board.
But it was Kyle Korver who took matters into his own hands living up to his reputation of being the 3-point king. He was 7-11 from downtown and had the game high all across the board with 30.
LeBron James’ King status was intact as well with a triple double ( 22 points, 17 assists and 12 rebounds). One strategy that stood out was the eight man rotation the Cavs played with. LeBron says, “We played together offensively and defensively. The communication was very high. The ball was moving around. the was popping. Everybody felt like we were in a good rhythm. This team has played us tough every single season, no matter their record. Tonight we finally played them tough. We played Cavaliers basketball. “
What was missing from the Hawks? For one, Taurean Prince needs to learn when to back away from the 3-point line. He was 0-9 from long range. He put up 15 but that came with a +/- of -21. Not good. Late in the 3rd was when the quality of ball the Hawks were playing dropped tremendously. When Lebron says they played them tough, they did just that. Atlanta never really rebounded from the 18-2 run Cleveland went on to which Kent Bazemore says, “We definitely lost focus.”
Final score 123-107. Hopefully, the Hawks can get back on track Sunday when they host Detroit. The Cavs will continue their 3 game road trip playing the Celtics Sunday and OKC on Tuesday.