By Greg Dempson
Tip time is 7:05 for game 1 in this series between the Hawks and Cavaliers at the Quicken Loans Arena. These two met in last season’s playoffs as Cleveland dispatched Atlanta with ease, (a 4–0 sweep.) It was basically a one man show in last season’s sweep as the Cavaliers were without Kevin Lowe for the entire playoffs and Kyrie Irving missed significant post season time due to an injury. It is a different story this time around as the Cavaliers continue their push towards an anticipated final vs. either the Warriors or Spurs.
Atlanta’s success, or lack thereof, might hinge of the ability of Bazemore trying to guard James efficiently. Last years’ match-up was intense as Dellavedova knocked Hawks sharpshooter Korver out of the series while diving for a loose ball and he also got tangled up with Hawks big man Al Horford, who threw a forearm in frustration and was ejected in Game 3. Atlanta will need better production from Horford as he averaged just 8.5 points in the final four games of the Boston series after averaging 20.5 points in the first two contests.
The Shot Clock
· The Cavaliers are 13–25 to the under when playing against poor foul drawing teams who attempt 21 or less foul shots per game.
· The Hawks held opponents to a league low 43% field goal percentage as well as 99.2 PPG. In their first round series vs. Boston the two teams stayed under the total in five out of six games.
· Will the long layoff impede the Cavaliers in game 1? Last season when they hosted Chicago in game 1 they lost straight up as 4.5 point home favorites, (99–92,) with the game playing under the total of 195.
· Play home teams winning between 60% to 75% of their games to stay under the total when off a win vs. a division rival and the over/under is 200 or greater. This system is 32–73 = 69.5% to the under the past five seasons.
· After staying under the total by 42 or more combined points, play teams winning between 51% to 60% to stay under the total when the total is 200 or greater and they’re playing a foe with a winning straight up record. This system is 24 – 50 = 68% to the under the past five seasons.
My Every Edge offering for this evening is to take the Atlanta Hawks and Cleveland Cavaliers to play under the total of 200 points.