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Preview and Game Thread #59: Cleveland Cavaliers @ Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta Hawks 08-09 Game #59

@ Atlanta-hawks_medium

Phillips Arena
February 27th, 2009, 7:30 PM
ESPN!, Hawks Radio NetworkNBA Audio League Pass
Probable starters:
Mo Williams PG Mike Bibby
Delonte West SG Joe Johnson
LeBron James SF Marvin Williams
Anderson Varejao PF Josh Smith
Zydrunas Ilgauskas C Al Horford


Hawks Injury Report: Apparently even Craig Claxton is available for the Hawks. Expect to see him in just after Othello Hunter hits the game winning shot.

Cav Injury Report: Ben Wallace is out with a broken leg.

Blogging With the Enemy: Fear the Sword

Predicted bane of the Hawks existence: Three letters will do: LBJ.

Game Preview:

When Big Z is out, which he was the last time the Hawks played the Cavs, I actually think Atlanta matches up quite well with LeBron and the rest (when you consider no one matches up well against James). Joe Johnson is a really tough draw for Delonte and Al Horford can perform against Ben Wallace and Anderson Varejao.

Unfortunately, Big Z is not out this game which means the Hawks need to pick up the pace and run Ilgauskas to the bench. It could fire up the crowd and help avoid some of the Cavs stifling defense. Easier said than done especially when LeBron seemingly plays his best defense on the fast break.

It is a feast for famine day for Josh Smith. He either lets Varejao frustrate him with flops, cheap fouls, and hustle boards, or he matches his intensity and plays a whale of a game. Lets hope the national tv atmosphere sways him the the latter.

If the Hawks somehow pull this one out, color me impressed on a great basketball weekend for the team. 

I will be there to root the team on, watch LeBron know he is awesome, and hopefully see Joe rain fire.

Please drop any good national tv antidotes in the comments. Also, as long as Bret does not have dish network which is not working at the present time, check out a live blog over at hoopinion.

Go Hawks!