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Atlanta Hawks
Cleveland Cavaliers
League : NBA

Cleveland Cavaliers vs Atlanta Hawks Prediction & Preview

#503 Atlanta Hawks
Hawks -2
#504 Cleveland Cavaliers
Cavaliers 2
Wednesday, February 12, 2020 at 7:05pm
Image licensed from USA Today Sports
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The Atlanta Hawks have struggled to get their way into the playoff picture throughout the season. The Hawks are heading into the contest after a tough loss on the road against the Orlando Magic.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have fallen to one of the worst marks in the league falling well below the .500 mark. The Cavaliers are coming off a disappointing blowout loss on their home floor against the LA Clippers.

Hawks looking to push forward on the road

Heading into the 2019-20 season, the Hawks had much hope that they could breakthrough in the Eastern Conference, but that hasn't exactly been the case this year as they have stumbled south as the year has worn along. Instead, they have experienced many of the same struggles that have plagued them over the last couple of seasons, which has seen them give up 118.8 points per contest. That has remained their Achilles heel, which has seen them give up north of 110 points in each of their last five games played, including 135 points in each of their last two games played. However, unlike the Cavaliers, the Hawks have some dependable scoring on their roster.
That is led by first-time All-Star point guard Trae Young, who has been one of the most productive players in the league in his second campaign as he's fourth with 29.1 points and second with 9.1 assists per contest. Young has picked up the pace in the last four games with more than 25 points in each contest along with more than 30 points twice. That is topped by him tallying 48 points in the double-overtime win against the New York Knicks. Young should be on pace for another strong outing as he will facing another struggling defensive team that should see him continue his hot stretch. The Hawks have had their defensive woes, but they have a superstar talent that should push them forward offensively.

Cavaliers struggling to find traction

It has been much more of the same for the Cavaliers since the departure of LeBron James as the franchise has fallen back into the dumps as they have had major issues finding their way on the court. Their huge reliance on young and unproven talent leading the way has put them in a tough spot of trying to navigate through the Eastern Conference. They have had some dependable production emerge, but it hasn't been enough to bring forth any collective consistent play on the court. Instead, the team has remained in the bottom of the league in the standings with their struggles continuing to pile up as they have lost their last six straight games, including nine out of the previous 10 contests.
What has been most concerning about their current stretch of struggles has been their lack of defensive prowess as they have allowed more than 110 points four times and north of 130 points three times during that span. They haven't been able to slow anybody down, which has further contributed to their shortcomings. That should continue against the Hawks, who are led by one of the league's most dynamic scorers in Trae Young. The Hawks have scored more than 110 points four times in the previous five games, including back-to-back games with more than 125 points heading into Wednesday's contest. All of this just pushes things even more heavily into Atlanta's favor on the road against a struggling Cavaliers team.

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