By the Numbers: Hawks Stun Cavs

Cavs drop 5 of last 6 games

LeBron James could only sigh as his team came up short against the Hawks. 
A few days ago, LeBron James ended the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 4-game losing streak by scoring a franchise record-tying 57 points against the Washington Wizards. 
That performance also enabled the King to become the youngest NBA player to reach 29,0000 career points- a record that was previously held by Kobe Bryant. The Cavs thought that their win against the Wizards will be the start of better things for the team. 
Unfortunately, they were wrong.
Dennis Schroder scored on a pair of charities with 12 seconds left and right after Isaiah Taylor missed a pair of free throws, LeBron James grabbed the rebound but Channing Frye missed on a three-point attempt and Dwayne Wade missed another attempt as the Atlanta Hawks held on for the 117-115 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. 
This latest loss dropped the Cavs to 4-6 while the Hawks finally broke out of their 8-game losing streak and improved to 2-8 in the season.
So what doomed the Cavs in the first place? Below are the numbers:

Balance Scoring from the Hawks

Atlanta got contributions from 7 players who scored in double figures. Schroder led the way with 28 points while Tayshaun Prince and Luke Babbit scored 17 points apiece. Dewayne Dedmon had 15 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks while Ken Bazemore added 14 points 7 rebounds and 9 assists. Off the bench, the Hawks got 12 points and 13 rebounds from John Collins and, 14 points from Isaiah Taylor. 
On the other side, the Cavs’ starters could only manage 51 points- highlighted by LeBron James’ 26 points. The only thing that kept Cleveland in the game was the production of the bench which got  25 points from Dwayne Wade and 23 points from Kyle Korver. 
You see the irony? The Cavs have more star power and yet they lost to another mediocre team.

The Hawks Got More from Rainbow Country

While the Cavs were almost blacked out from the three-point line as evident by their 10 of 36 performance from beyond the arc- including a 0 of 3 shooting from the King himself, the Hawks made 11 of their 25 attempts from deep. Luke Babbit took 8 shots from outside and made half of those attempts. Tayshaun Prince added three more long bombs. 
The Cavs on the other hand? If not to Kyle Korver’s 5 of 11 shooting from the three-point area, the Cavs would have been blown away. Among the Cavs’ starters, only JR Smith managed to hit his targets from deep, hitting 2 of his 4 attempts from that area.  

Conclusion

With this latest setback, Cavs Coach Tyronn Lue might want to check his back because he wouldn’t be coaching for long if the Cavs doesn’t improve as soon as possible. And if the Cavs doesn’t improve soon, it might only strengthen the possibilities of LeBron James leaving for elsewhere next season. 
For the Hawks, it’s still early for their fans to quit because given the fact that they’ve already beaten a “super team“, it shows that yes, they can beat any team. They only need to do what they did against the Cavs, consistently. 

NBA Early Prediction: Most Improve Player

There are a lot of changes this off season and there’s a lot of player who will have a chance of showing their real skills.

Here are the top 3 players on my mind that will have a big jump in terms of their stats.

1. Harrison Barnes (Dallas Mavericks): This guys was spectacular in the record breaking run of the Warriors last season. He was the 4th best player in that team behind the Big 3 (Curry, Thompson and Green). He has a limited playing time in that team due to Iguodala’s defensive role with them.

Barnes signed with Dallas Mavericks last summer and it looks like a very good move for his career. He will now be a starter in that team and will have a plenty of playing time to show his real skills.

Last Season Average: 10.4 points and 4.6 rebounds per game
Predicted Next Season Average: 17 points and 7 rebounds per game

2. Kristaps Porzingis (New York Knicks): Who will forget the Rookie who had been bashed throughout the draft day to pre-season games by the fans? And who will forget the Rookie who finished 2nd in the Rookie of the Year award last season behind Karl Anthony-Towns? That kid is Kristaps Porzingis, this kid averaged 14.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots per game while playing alongside with Carmelo Anthony.

I predict that Kristaps will be a big factor of Knick’s success this season, He will not have a very big jump in terms of his stats but the reason why I ranked him 2nd is his effect to the team.

Last Season Average: 14.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots per game

Predicted Next Season Average: 16 points, 10 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game

3. Dennis Schröder (Atlanta Hawks): Known as the backup point guard of Jeff Teague, this player was one of the best defensive players in the league while contributing 11 points and 4.4 assists per game and playing limited minutes for Atlanta Hawks.

Now Teague had been traded to Indiana and Horford signs with the Celtics, He will now be the main man of this Atlanta Squad alongside with Millsap, Bazemore and Korver.

Last Season Average: 11 points and 4.4 dimes per game
Predicted Next Season Average: 18 points and 6 dimes per game

Tearful Dirk Nowitzki bids farewell to German National Team

After Germany failed to beat Spain in an incredibly close game 77-76, the fans in Berlin for EuroBasket 2015 had no problems showing their love for German superstar Dirk Nowitzki.

Most likely Dirk Nowitzki’s last game in Europe ended Thursday with a tearful standing ovation before the crowd in Berlin. It was an emotional curtain call for the German center, who came out of national team retirement to play for Germany for the first time since 2011.

Dennis Schroder could have sent the game into overtime but he made only two of three free throws with three seconds remaining.

Dirk scored 10 points on 3-6 shooting in the game.

This was Nowitzki’s seventh EuroBasket with the German National Team, and at age 37, it seems likely he’ll save all the juice he has left for the Dallas Mavericks.