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Hawks vs Cavaliers preview: Atlanta seeks revenge in Cleveland

The Atlanta Hawks seek to avenge a 33-point loss from earlier in the season, as they travel to Cleveland to take on LeBron James and the Cavaliers.

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Return with me to the scene of the crime.

The date is November 15, 2014, and the Atlanta Hawks take the floor in Cleveland to face LeBron James and the Cavaliers for the first time this season. In what seemed like the blink of an eye, the Cavs ran away and hid from the Hawks, knocking down their first eleven threes of the game, and after a 41-8 (!) run by Cleveland, the game was virtually over before halftime even arrived. In the end, it was a 127-94 loss for the Hawks that doubled as (easily) the team's worst loss of the season.

Now? It's time to avenge that defeat.

Mike Budenholzer and his club are in Cleveland again on Wednesday evening, and this time, the Hawks are playing very well as they arrive. The Hawks have won 10 of 11 games, and with a significant victory over Chicago on Monday evening, the NBA world is beginning to take notice of the team.

It should certainly be noted that the Cavaliers are extremely talented. Cleveland boasts the best player in the world in the form of LeBron James, and with both Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving on the scene to flank him, the roster is slightly terrifying. Still, the Cavs haven't quite "clicked" to this point of the season, posting a 14-9 record that has them solidly behind Atlanta in the standings, and David Blatt's defense (allowing 104.5 points per 100) ranks as a below-average unit for the season.

At this point, it appears that both teams are virtually healthy for the contest. Hawks center Pero Antic has missed the last handful of games with flu-like symptoms, but he was considered "questionable" on Monday night, and Cleveland's lone injury concern (Mike Miller) is expected to return on Wednesday. The match-ups are fun on the surface, with DeMarre Carroll getting the first (and main) chance to slow down LeBron, and with a battle of young point guards in Kyrie Irving and Jeff Teague.

Everywhere you turn, there is something intriguing about this game, and hopefully, it will be much more competitive than the last contest in Cleveland.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Wednesday, December 17, 7:00 p.m. ET

Location: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio

TV: SportSouth

Radio: 92.9 The Game