Recap: Hawks 99, Cavs 83 (Or, Slouching towards the draft)

March 27th, 2011 by John Krolik

Overview: Al Horford and Marvin Williams combined for 51 points in a 99-83 drubbing of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Baron Davis led the Cavs with 19 points and 7 assists off the bench.

Yet another loss bullets:

Well, there was nothing resembling energy early. The Cavs were getting beat down the floor nearly every time, and the half-court offense consisted of Alonzo Gee forcing shots. That is not a winning formula. Byron Scott called a time-out, told the team to focus and get back on defense, and a few plays later the Cavs gave up a made basket fast-break and-1 to Jason Collins. It’s been that kind of a season.

The team did manage to settle down, but they never really got back in the game. If this team doesn’t come to play, they can not win. We learned this many moons ago. The Cavs didn’t come to play on Sunday.

Baron and Ramon both had solid games, but neither of them really controlled the game, and Ramon really wasn’t running the offense in that crucial early part of the game. Still, Baron has definitely given more than I thought the Cavs would get from him this season. If he stays in shape this off-season, it’ll be good to have him and allow whatever young guard we get to develop at his own pace.

On defense, the Cavs had no answer for Al Horford or Marvin Williams. Horford is a monster. That’s all there is to it. He’s got incredible touch around the basket, he runs the floor like a deer, and he’s automatic from 16-20 feet. No shame in letting him get his points. And Marvin Williams has always had the tools — on Sunday, he was hitting his jumpers and going hard to the rim, and the Cavs don’t have a defender who can handle that. I was actually impressed by how well the Cavs defended Josh Smith — isn’t it strange that he can be such an effective player in so many ways, but Luke Harangody can hold his own against him in the high post?

Christian Eyenga, please stop shooting jump shots. Please. You are not adept at them.

And Ryan Hollins scored 2 points and was a -24 in 26 minutes. He does keep you on your toes.

That’s the story of this one — terrible start, no answer for Horford or Williams, Cavs didn’t shoot well, and Baron and Ramon didn’t really take the game over. Loss #58.