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Cavaliers vs. Hawks: Eastern Conference Finals preview

Cavs vs hawk playoff preview - eastern confference finals

The Cavs and the Hawks.

The Cinderella regular season Hawks (at least early on) and the re-invention (3rd time this season!) of the Cavaliers.

Why Cinderella for the Hawks? A 60 win regular season, 4 All Stars, the month where the starting 5 got “player of the month,” an arguable all star in Carroll, the amazing 3 point shot of Korver, and the 6’1 Dennis Schröder with a wingspan of 6’7.

Why a 3rd reinvention? Kevin Love goes down and the Cavs circle the the wagons; forming into a gritty nosed team who will grind it out if needed and flat out work harder. No excuses for Kyrie Irving, Shumpert the do it all athlete, JR Smith reigning from downtown, Tristan Thompson emulating Dennis Rodman and just quoted as saying other teams simply cannot box him out; no way, no how ; can’t be done. He’s going to outwork you.

The funny thing about Tristan Thompson is that he’s a goofy nerdy guy, kind of odd shaped body (is it the big ass?), but that’s just the thing – his extension of body is very long, he will out quick you and out work you, and do whatever is needed to get a board. Of course, King James is aboard ship, still the teacher and leader while straight exhausting himself on the court. A couple times in Chicago he needed to get out of the game for a quick breather, even in the first quarter.

Mozgov has been solid, albeit not quite his regular season form. Delly has found his niche and confidence since the last close out game vs. the Bulls.

The 2nd invention, of course, was the trade that brought Iman, JR, and Timofey.

1st invention was no good – Dion Waiters did NOT fit and the Cavs were 19-20.

All the while, what else do we have here? We have David Blatt. The Cleveland fans are getting edgy, questioning Blatt, and are not convinced he’s done a good job. There’s whispers that Lebron “doesn’t like” coach Blatt. I don’t think that’s a good look for coach Blatt, and Lebron shouldn’t have thrown him under the bus to national media. Who knows, hopefully it was just Lebron creating the environment, and Blatt had to be put in place.

Regardless, Blatt came here BEFORE HE KNEW about the Lebron Return. It was supposed to be Kyrie, Wiggins, and the newly formed Cavaliers. Possibly, then, these playoffs are the 4th invention for the Cavs, the first coming in the form of Blatt becoming coach and Kyrie re-signing. Again, though, you have to wonder – do you think Blatt had knowledge of Lebrons return?

Still a moot point when you consider the job Blatt is doing, through it all. His offense has unique pick and roll action, with Delly-n-Thompson finishing in the TOP 5 for alley oops in the regular season. He knows offense and spaces the floor. Defense is definitely key, and that may be the underrated part of Blatt. For some reason though, he doesn’t get a flat out ringing endorsement when you consider all the coverage on him. He’s taking a large part of the proverbial fall, if it ever does come, but which we hope does not.

This newly formed invention of the Cavs is a never say die team.

The city of Cleveland is of course starved for a winner. Can Lebron take us to the promised land? I have a feeling we can grind it out.
We have no excuses this time – we know it, the team knows it. It’s a little bit eerie and I’m not quite sure Cleveland is ready for it or will even know how to appreciate a possible finals champion. We are in awe yet a bit guarded. It almost feels like the collective team will simply not accept losing.

At the same time we are still skeptical, thinking we are cursed and looking back at past failures. There can’t be any of that any more – and I think we see it in the eyes of the Cavaliers. At the very least, we’re giving it a damn good shot!

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