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Find out the scoop on the CAVS from award-winning sports writer Bob Finnan.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Game 15: Cavs at Hawks

at Philips Arena
RADIO/TV: WTAM/Fox Sports Ohio

The Cavs have now lost their last two games by 66 points. That is not a good thing.

It's like they've forgotten how to play hard and defend. Granted, their schedule has gotten much tougher, with Chicago and Atlanta in the last two games. But they have to show up and be ready to play against good teams and bad.

Another blowout is waiting for them in Miami on Tuesday. That Omri Casspi-LeBron James matchup could be ugly.

The Cavs allowed the Hawks to shoot 55 percent from the field. They also allowed a season-high 121 points. They allowed the Hawks to do whatever they wanted on the court.

If you remember, they were respectable last year, too, early on in the season. Then things totally fell apart. Could that be happening again? The Cavs hope not. But the signs are there.

Promising power forward Tristan Thompson sprained his left ankle in the fourth quarter, but remained in the game. X-rays were negative. The Cavs say his status will be updated on Monday. I'll update his injury right now: "He's day-to-day." Don't be surprised if he misses some games.

The Cavs played without Daniel Gibson in tonight's game. He wasn't on the trip because of personal reasons. That altered Coach Byron Scott's rotation. He played Alonzo Gee at shooting guard and Luke Harangody at small forward. Both played out of position. Gee can't handle the ball well enough to play the "2," while Harangody isn't quick enough to play the "3."

Haragody got knocked to the floor by Hawks veteran Tracy McGrady. There wasn't even a foul called.

The Hawks are 8-1 at home. The Cavs weren't able to slow down the Hawks' running game. They outscored the Cavs in fastbreak points, 30-13.

The Cavs have lost five in a row to the Hawks, including an 0-3 record last season. They haven't won on the road in the series since Dec. 29, 2009.

Both teams are on the second leg of a back-to-back set, and both teams were routed on Friday. The Hawks were beat up in Philadelphia. The Cavs suffered their worst defeat at home in franchise history, 114-75, to Chicago.

The Cavs are now 0-4 on the second game of a back-to-back.

Hawks coach Larry Drew was an assistant on Cavs coach Byron Scott's staff in New Jersey. They were also teammates with the Los Angeles Lakers during their playing days.

One of Drew's assistant coaches, Tyrone Hill, played for the Cavs from 1999-2003.

UP NEXT: The Cavs travel to Miami at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at AmericanAirlines Arena.

SF Omri Casspi (6-9, 225) vs. Marvin Williams (6-9, 245)
PF Antawn Jamison (6-9, 235) vs. Josh Smith (6-9, 225)
C Anderson Varejao (6-11, 260) vs. Zaza Pachulia (6-11, 260)
SG Anthony Parker (6-6, 210) vs. Joe Johnson (6-7, 240)
PG Kyrie Irving (6-3, 191) vs. Jeff Teague (6-2, 181)
Cavs – G/F Christian Eyenga, G Mychel Thompson
Hawks - G Kirk Hinrich, F/C Al Horford
Scott Foster, Mark Ayotte, Brent Barnaky


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