Cavs – Hawks: talent disparity glaring in 1st half, rally in 3rd, lose 100-88

Pregame thoughts

I got down to the Cavs – Hawks game tonight in time for shoot-a-round, walked in as Coach Scott was finishing up his pregame comments. 

Summary of said comments — Mo Williams is playing, Jamison isn’t. 

Starting line-up as follows —  Hickson, Moon, AP, Sessions, Andy.  I have a funny feeling AP just might be in that line-up all season…seems like he’s always healthy, and never really battling anything since he’s been here.  Hope I didn’t jinx him.

Shoot-a-round — I watched the Cavs warm up some and strolled down to the Hawks side of the floor.  I offered a “Hey what’s up ‘Nique” to the Human Highlight Film to which he hit me back with a “hey what’s up guy.”  I loved Dominique Wilkens growing up, especially when he teamed with my boy number four Spud Webb, so that was cool.

Talent disparity — Anyways, after that I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by the talent on that end of the floor after watching Chris Jent drop dimes for a while.  Real quick, the 3-0 Hawks are going Bibby, Horford, Johnson, J Smith, Marv Williams. Probably all five of those guys would be the Cavs best player right now, right?  Then scrolling down the roster, Jamal Crawford still coming off the bench scoring 16 per, and Zaza Pachulia is averaging 10.  Might be a tough night, but hey, Mo Williams is the wild card.

Dunktapegate — Jordan Crawford is on the roster for the Hawks and is active.  If he gets in, wonder if he gets an ovation for dunking on you know who way back when?

1st half thoughts (59-47 Hawks)

It’s the third time I’ve seen the intros and they continue to be sweet.  Picture by Glenn Moore…I’m trying to be positive.

Game wise there isn’t much to be positive about.  The Hawks scored 40 points in the first quarter.  Mike Brown would have been kicked out of the game by the 9 minute mark had he been here.  Not to say any of this is Byron’s fault really.  I have to finally admit he’s not playing with much of a hand here.

This roster is not good.  I continue to believe that hard work, commitment, and belief in the system can help these Cavs be competitive.  But to be honest with myself, they need all those other things because the talent’s not there.

The half is almost symbolic of what might be going on here these days.  Meaning, J.J. Hickson is a guy that can compete with the upper level teams and that’s about it. 

Hickson has 18 on 7 of 8 from the field in the first half.  The next three leading scorers for the Cavs – Powe (6), AP (5), Jawad (5) – don’t even total his 18.  It’s sixteen if you were running out of fingers.

Anyways, the Hawks just look as I thought in pregame…like they have six players on their roster that would be in the conversation for the ‘Cavs best player’ award.  Marvin Williams has 14, Joe Johnson 11, Jamal Crawford 8.

To think positive, the Cavs looked real good during the first half on Saturday and lost.  Look kinda bad tonight in first half = win??? 

2nd half thoughts (100-88 Hawks)

If the Cavs would have played the way they did tonight in the 3rd quarter on Saturday they would have been up by 30. Nice work by the Cavs coaching staff and players correcting that issue anyhow tonight. The Cavaliers won the third quarter Tuesday against the ATL 26 – 15.

Thing is they can’t get behind by double figures and expect to win. Not that good of a team, by a long-shot. The Cavs did battle some tonight though,and I credit them for that. It’s just that if you get down by as many as 17, it’s to be credited with an actual W.

JJ Hickson made a statement tonight though. A 31 point 5 rebound 11 of 17 from the field statement. It didn’t quite warrant the MVP chants that were rained down on him around the 5 minute mark, but he did continue to show promise. All Star “potential” promise, which is encouraging.

Especially considering when the next highest scorer was Mo Williams’ 12 off the bench. The crowd really wants to get behind Mo, you can feel it in the arena when the ball is in his hand. He played better than I though he would tonight, but not good enough to get the W.

I continue to believe that four Cavs players have to play “good games for them personally” all at the same time for the Cavs to win. Tonight, that wasn’t the case.

More later postgame react stuff later…

Brendan Bowers

About Brendan Bowers

I am the founding editor of StepienRules.com. I am also a content strategist and social media manager with Electronic Merchant Systems in Cleveland. My work has been published in SLAM Magazine, KICKS Magazine, The Locker Room Magazine, Cleveland.com, BleacherReport.com, InsideFacebook.com and elsewhere. I've also written a lot of articles that have been published here.

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