ATLANTA — Atlanta Hawks fandom is a little shellshocked after the team was thoroughly defeated by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the opening of the Eastern Conference Finals, 97-89, at Phillips Arena
It was far from the history-making evening that the fans wasnted to see. It was the first time the Hawks in their current incarnation that they’ve made it this far in the playoffs. Even Hall of Fame legend Dominique Wilkins couldn’t get the Hawks to the conference finals back in the 1980s.
Two major events took place to help determine the outcome of the game: that New York castaway J.R. Smith has revitalized the Cavs on both the offensive and defensive end, hitting a personal high six three-pointers to help the Cavs build a 15-point lead en route to the win. Secondly, DeMarre Carroll went down in a heap, reeling from severe pain after reportedly spraining his knee early in the game.
DeMarre was tapped as the person most able to slow down LeBron James on the Hawks squad.