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Hawks vs Cavaliers Game 1 preview: Atlanta welcomes Cleveland to begin Eastern Conference Finals

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The Hawks and Cavs begin the Eastern Conference Finals in front of what is sure to be a packed house at Philips Arena.

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Hawks are in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Read that sentence again.

For some of us (myself included), that reality has quite set in to this point, but in a few short hours, the Hawks will host the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1. During the four-day break, many words have been said and/or written, including many in this space, and by now, you probably have a pretty good feel on this series.

Well, at least you think you do.

On Monday, we unveiled a full "preview series", covering the backcourtthe frontcourtthe bench and the coaching match-up in increased detail. If you're looking for predictions, we've got that too, coming at you in roundtable form (with our various analysts weighing in) and podcast form with an audio format.

In short, the Cavaliers boast the best player in the series (and the world) with LeBron James, but aside from a potentially hobbled Kyrie Irving, Cleveland's roster does not have the balance associated with Atlanta's approach to the game. The Hawks need top-flight play from their tremendous group of starters (namely a heroic effort from DeMarre Carroll against James), and it would certainly behoove the group to extract value from an unsung hero or two from the bench.

TIp-off is rapidly approaching, and we'll be here throughout the series. Join us, won't you?

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Wednesday, May 20, 8:30 p.m. ET

Location: Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia

TV: TNT

Radio: 92.9 "The Game" FM