The Atlanta Hawks fell into the clutches of the Cleveland Cavaliers following a 104-93 win by the LeBron James team. With both groups coming off wins from the first round of the NBA playoffs 2016, the face-off is pegged to be as exciting at the match between the San Antonio Spurs and the Oklahoma City Thunder. While the Atlanta Hawks, who came fresh off their win over Isaiah Thomas' Boston Celtics, lost Game 1, it looks like the Al Horford team is not too worried about this series. If anything, it seems that the Jeff Teague squad is confident that the first round is a fluke and the succeeding games will see them emerge victorious over the Kyrie Irving squad.
One of the notable moves of the Cleveland Cavaliers is the shift to position Kevin Love at the center. This change by Tyronn Lue gave the LeBron James team the ultimate advantage over the Detroit Pistons. In this round with the Atlanta Hawks, it appears that the strategy might be working again. In Game 1 of the Cavs vs Hawks NBA playoffs 2016 series, the fans saw the face-off featuring Kevin Love vs Al Horford.
"He's pretty much playing the five now because he's guarding Horford," shared Lue of his strategy for Love in the hardwood court. The Cleveland Cavaliers head coach added, "So, he's playing the five now. But as far as with Tristan [Thompson] off the floor and 'Bron [James] playing, it could happen. We definitely play well that way and something we're going to use. Just have to see how it goes."
Meanwhile, the chemistry in the Cleveland Cavaliers roster appears to be improving. While his teammates earlier resented his demands from them, it looks like they have learned to work together to continue their dominance in the Eastern Conference and dethrone the Golden State Warriors. At this point, the NBA community now sees how dangerous are LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love when they work together.
"We needed everything," shared James following their victory over the Atlanta Hawks. While he recognizes their achievement, the former Miami Heat star noted that there are still points of improvement. He added, "We played an OK game. I don't think we played to our standards. The first game is always kind of a feel-out."
James' words were echoed by the Atlanta Hawks. After their loss, the Jeff Teague squad looked pleased with themselves. Kent Bazemore, who pitched in 16 points for the team, shared his optimism over their possible comeback in Game 2. According to Bazemore, the second round will allow them to fix their mistakes and eventually beat the Cleveland Cavaliers.
He shared, "We felt good that we gave ourselves a chance." Bazemore added, "No moral victories, but you want to keep your mojo positive. We'll get another crack."