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Preview: Hawks host transitioning Cavs on back-to-back

Atlanta is back in action on Friday against LeBron and a very different Cavs roster.

NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Cleveland Cavaliers David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

After the 2018 NBA Trade Deadline, the Atlanta Hawks are basically the same team. Luke Babbitt is in Miami and there is a possibility of buyouts for a couple of veterans but, for now, the squad that lost in Orlando on Thursday is quite similar to the one operating before the 3:00 pm ET deadline passed.

For the Cleveland Cavaliers, that is not the case and it is almost comical the level of turnover that occurred the team on Thursday. In fact, LeBron James and company aren’t exactly sure (at least as of Friday morning) who will be available to play against the Hawks when they visit Philips Arena.

In short, these players were traded from Cleveland to other places.

  • Isaiah Thomas
  • Jae Crowder
  • Dwyane Wade
  • Channing Frye
  • Iman Shumpert
  • Derrick Rose

And, in return, the Cavaliers acquired these players.

  • George Hill
  • Rodney Hood
  • Jordan Clarkson
  • Larry Nance Jr.

Beyond that, the Cavs have two players on two-way contracts (London Perrentes and John Holland) that are expected to be in uniform in Atlanta.

Of course, the elephant in the room is the presence of LeBron James and, provided he plays, the Cavs will be favored in Las Vegas to topple the Hawks, even on the road. Still, there is a great deal of flux happening right now and that throws Friday’s game into chaos.

Regardless, the Hawks will need to put forth a quality effort to remain competitive, even as Cleveland struggles mightily on the defensive end. Granted, things could be changing with all of the personnel alterations but, for now, the Cavs have one of the worst defenses in the league and, in theory, Atlanta should be able to capitalize on that.

In addition, Taurean Prince has a big-time challenge in defending James for the majority of the night and that is always the match-up to watch.

Stay tuned throughout the day (and follow us on Twitter @PeachtreeHoops) for all the latest, including who is in (and out) for Cleveland.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Friday, February 9, 7:30 pm ET

Location: Philips Arena

TV: Fox Sports Southeast, Fox Sports Go, NBA League Pass

Radio: 92.9 The Game (Atlanta)