Cavaliers vs Hawks Game 1 Final Score: Injuries Hangover Game 1 Win


The Cavaliers vs Hawks series took a bad turn in Game 1 for Atlanta, as injuries and J.R. Smith took out the one team right off the bat. 

The last thing the NBA wanted was a series this close to the NBA Finals being defined by yet another injury — but that’s what happened in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

The game itself is now meaningless, as all that matters is the possible ACL injury that DeMare Carroll suffered in the fourth quarter of a Hawks loss in Game 1. Cleveland is up 1-0 in the series, but things might have broke for the Hawks with whatever happened to Carroll.

Before the injury, Phillips Arena was bumping with every play that the Hawks made — but as soon as Carroll was carried off after clutching his knee — the building was healthy quiet and never came back to life. While not on the same level as losing a star player to injury, Phillips Arena was already being quieted by J.R. Smith, who came alive in Game 1 and looks to be a major factor throughout the series.

Smith started the game off by not missing a shot for seemingly ever, and he finished the night with almost 30 point off the bench. That’s huge for the Cavaliers and it’s something that J.R. needs to keep up for the entire length of this series and into the NBA Finals.

Injuries were something that plagued the entire game, as LeBron James tripped on a TNT cameraman earlier in the contest and had to leave the game momentarily.

Cavaliers reporter Fred McLeod noted that it was indeed a cameraman that LeBron James tripped on, which at the time would have been the worst thing to happen in the series.

But Carroll’s injury is really the only thing to take away from this game as it changes the entire series. Who cares what who shot in this first game or who had the better defense. With Carroll possibly being lost for the rest of this series, that changes everything about it.

That was not good and it has ACL injury written all over it. It’s hard to look at this first series with anything more than regret, as the series we were going to get before Carroll injured his knee is not the series we will be getting now that the’s out. That being said, the Cavaliers coasted down the stretch of Game 1 and have given the Hawks life to breathe out of the Carroll injury.

He may not be a factor anymore, but the Hawks believe they can win and that’s the most dangerous thing the Cavaliers could allow them to believe.

Beyond that injury, things went so-so for the Cavaliers the rest of the night. Part of the reason why Hawks fans were so into the game was thanks to mistakes that the Cavaliers were making early.

Matthew Dellavedova helped contribute some early mistakes, with one of his worst being a failed alley-oop lob that went to no one.

On another play, Delly fell completely asleep on a buzzer beater by Kent Bazemore — which is concerning considering how we’ve seen teams, including the Cavaliers, go on runs to get back in games. Atlanta almost did that after the Carroll injury, and if players like Delly fall asleep, it could be cause for concern.

Game 2 will be played on Friday night in Atlanta.

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