Jan 21, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (right) gets fouled by Atlanta Hawks center Zaza Pachulia (left) during the first half at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Josh D. Weiss-US PRESSWIRE

3/21 Cleveland Cavaliers vs Atlanta Hawks Game Day Preview: All You Need to Know

Who?: Cleveland Cavaliers (10th in East) vs Atlanta Hawks (6th in East)

When?: March 21 2012; 7:30 PM (Eastern Time)

Where?: Philips Arena (Atlanta, GA)

How?: SportSouth HD (TV) & 680 AM (93.7 radio)

Other Atlanta Hawks Coverage: Atlanta Hawks Fan Site, AJC Blog, Peachtree Hoops (SB Nation), Hoopinion (TrueHoop)

FanSided’s Cleveland Cavaliers Blog :  Right Down Euclid


Projected Starting Lineups:

Cleveland Cavaliers:

PG: Kyrie Irving | SG: Anthony Parker | C: Tristan Thompson | PF: Antawn Jamison | SF: Alonzo Gee

Atlanta Hawks:

PG: Jeff Teague | SG: Kirk Hinrich | C: Zaza Pachulia | PF: Josh Smith | SF: Joe Johnson

Injury/Inactive Players Report:

Cleveland: Anderson Varejao (right wrist) is out. Daniel Gibson (ankle sprain) is questionable.

Atlanta: Al Horford (left pectoral surgery), Vladimir Radmanovic (back), Marvin Williams (hip flexor) and Jannero Pargo (appendicitis) are out. Ivan Johnson (personal reasons) is questionable. Willie Green (hamstring) is expected to make his debut return.


Current Records/Streak & Hot, Lukewarm, or Cold:

Records: The Cleveland Cavaliers are (17-26) and the Atlanta Hawks are (26-20).

Streak: The Cavs are riding a 1 game win streak while the Hawks are on a 1 game losing streak.

Away/Home: The Cavs are (8-12) on the road, and the Hawks are (13-7) at home.

Against .500+ teams: The Cleveland Cavaliers only post a record of (8-15) against winning teams this season.

Against non-winning teams: The Atlanta Hawks post an impressive record of (18-4) against non-winning teams this season.

Cleveland Cavaliers- Unknown. They’re on a 1 game winning streak since they beat the New Jersey Nets on the road, but before that game, they were riding a 3 game losing streak.

Atlanta Hawks- Cool. After the horrible offensive outing against the Celtics, they’re certainly not hot. They’re not cold though just because it’s only a 1 game losing streak.


Season/Past Season Series:

This will be the third and last meeting between the two teams. This is also the 2nd time the Hawks are hosting the Cavs this season.

The Hawks are 2-0 against the Cavs in this season’s series, beating them by a combined 41 point margin.

The Hawks have also won three games in a row vs Cleveland in Philips Arena prior to this game.


3 Things I’m Looking Out For:

  • Joe Johnson’s hot shooting.  Joe had another good shooting night vs the Celtics on Monday (especially in the 4th quarter). You have to think that he’ll continue to play well as he’s had a pretty easy time with the Cleveland Cavaliers this season. Joe scored 25 points and 28 points in the two blow out games against the Cavs. I even named him the SDS Player of the Game in those two games. Anthony Parker, Alonzo Gee, and maybe even Daniel Gibson will be given the task to guard Joe, and frankly, none of them can guard him alone. If the Cavs want to slow down Joe, they’ll have to send some double teams his way.
  • Josh Smith. If the Cavs indeed double team Joe Johnson, Josh Smith has to step up. He’s played pretty sub-par to what he’s capable of in the past two games. He’s been filling up the stat sheet, yes, but he could be doing a lot better. He could be rebounding more, helping out on D more, and taking better shot selections. If the Cavs focus on Joe Johnson and forces Josh Smith to carry the team, Josh Smith has to play better than what he has shown the past two games if the Hawks are to win this game.
  • Kyrie Irving.  Any time you face the Cavs, a player you have to watch out for is Kyrie Irving. He’s clearly the leader and the center piece of the team. In the two games the Hawks have faced Irving, Irving has scored 18 points and 19 points. He also got his first career double-double against the Hawks. If Jeff Teague, Kirk Hinrich, and the Hawks can slow him down, they’ll put themselves in a good position to win this game.


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Tags: Atlanta Hawks Cleveland Cavaliers Game Preview Joe Johnson Josh Smith Kyrie Irving Willie Green

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