It was a game that seemed over after the first quarter of play. The Hawks cut it to 10 points before the first half was over and even took a lead late in the fourth quarter, but ultimately fell to the Cavaliers 104-93.
The Hawks seemed to do what they could offensively with who was hot on their team, but there were many reasons as to why they lost this game. They have some work to do before Game 2. Lets take a dive into what they need to do to see some success in this series before it becomes too late.
Kyle Korver, Please Stand Up?
Where in the world was this guy tonight? He took one shot. One shot. This is the same guy who almost completed the first 50/50/90 season since Steve Kerr did it back in his playing days. With a guy who is capable of having seasons like that, it can only bring success for your team if you get him shots. You saw what the Cavaliers did in the first half, and that was come out hot shooting the basketball. In the playoffs, you need to hit three pointers. If Korver is virtually non-existent, they can kiss this series goodbye.
Hawks Defense Needs to Buckle Down Again
It was a disastrous first quarter defensively, but the Hawks buckled down after that. You could tell that the Cavaliers were frustrated with the Hawks breaking up the passing lanes and the Cavaliers firing offense in the third quarter. Atlanta needs to find away to take their attention off LeBron. Yes, LeBron obviously demands respect when he is on the floor but they lacked the rotational defense in the first half, which is the reason why the Cavaliers were able to get off 17 three pointers. They locked down in the second half, but it needs to be throughout the whole game for them to win.
Bench Play Has to Continue
With Dennis Schroder coming off the bench and scoring 27 points, it was their bench that helped them climb back into this game. They need these guys to stay consistent for them to have a chance in this series. A good sign for Atlanta is that they had a chance to steal a win in Game 1 despite not even playing at their best. It can also be a sign for things to come though because we all know the Cavaliers are not always going to give up an 18 point lead. This Atlanta team has fight in them. They have that balance of veteran leadership and young guns, they just need to put it together for 48 minutes.