Atlanta Hawks vs Cleveland Cavaliers 4/15/22: Starting Lineups, Matchup Preview, Betting Odds, Live Stream

Atlanta Hawks vs Cleveland Cavaliers Matchup Preview (4/15/22)

The Atlanta Hawks travel to face the Cleveland Cavaliers in a game that will decide the 8th seed. The winner of this game will play the Miami Heat in the 1st round, while the loser will be eliminated. The Hawks enter this game with huge momentum after thrashing the Charlotte Hornets 132-103. Atlanta was up 8 points at halftime before imposing their will in the second half. Trae Young produced 24 points and 11 assists, but he shot a terrible 33.3 FG% and 14.2 3PT%. Clint Capela dominated down low with 15 points and 17 rebounds, while Danilo Gallinari chipped in 18 points on 58.3 FG%. The player of the game for the Hawks was De’Andre Hunter; he scored 22 points on 56.2 FG% and held Miles Bridges to 12 points. The Hawks cannot rest on their laurels; they must bring the same energy against the Cavaliers. John Collins and Lou Williams are both out. Danilo Gallinari will continue to start in Collins’ place, while Delon Wright will be the main bench guard. Bogdan Bogdanovich is also a game time decision. The bench will lose offensive firepower if he cannot play. 

The Cavaliers must rebound after losing to the Brooklyn Nets 115-108. The Nets punched them in the mouth early through a 20-point lead after the 1st quarter. The Cavaliers actually won the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th quarter, but the deficit was too large. Darius Garland excelled with 35 points and 5 assists on a 54.1 FG%. Evan Mobley looked composed; he produced 19 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks on a 69.2 FG%. Caris LeVert didn’t score much – only 12 points – but he managed 7 rebounds and 7 assists. Off the bench, Kevin Love added 14 points and 13 rebounds. Although the Cavaliers played well, they couldn’t stop Kyrie Irving (34 points, 12 assists) and Kevin Durant (25 points, 5 rebounds, 11 assists). Atlanta does not have the same top tier talent as Brooklyn, but they are still a lethal offense who can shoot the lights out. Jarrett Allen will attempt to play, although it’s unclear how many minutes and what kind of impact he can have. If he is at least 75% of himself, then Cleveland’s defense will receive a tremendous boost. 

Atlanta Hawks vs Cleveland Cavaliers Betting Odds

The Hawks are 3-1 against the Cavaliers this season with the sole Cleveland win occurring on October 23rd, which doesn’t hold much stock. In four games against the Cavaliers, Trae Young is averaging 32.5 PPG and 9 APG while shooting 44.9 FG% and 41.1 3PT%. Garland, meanwhile, has produced 24 PPG and 8 APG on 44.1 FG% and 35.7 3PT%. The Cavaliers have only had Garland in two of the four games though. This game can go either way, but I like Cleveland to win a narrow game. Although Atlanta won the head-to-head battle, the Cavs were missing key players for some of those games. The Hawks are a far better team at home (27-14) than on the road (16-25), including a 34.2% mark against the spread as the road team. Overall, I think the Cavs matchup well with the Hawks. 

When the Cavaliers are the home team, the under hits 62.5% of the time – the 2nd best mark in the NBA. However, 223 is too low for the total points. The Cavaliers managed 108 points against a decent Brooklyn defense (14th Defensive Rating since the Harden trade). The Hawks are 26th in Defensive Rating with arguably the worst defensive backcourt in the league. Cleveland can score 115-120 points here, and Atlanta has the tools to score (2nd Offensive Rating). I think betting the over is the right play to make.

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TV Schedule

Date: 4/15/22
Time: 7:30 PM ET
Arena: Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse – Cleveland, OH
Channel: ESPN

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Atlanta Hawks Starting Lineup

PG: Trae Young
SG: Kevin Huerter
SF: De’Andre Hunter
PF: Danilo Gallinari
C: Clint Capela

Atlanta Hawks Analysis

Atlanta shot 49/94 (52.1%) from the field and 16/32 (50%) from three against the Hornets, but they are facing a much better defense. Cleveland is 6th in opponent 3PM and 7th in opponent 3PA. Because their wings know Mobley and Allen are waiting to clean up their mess, they play close to opposing perimeter players and limit threes. Opponents cannot swing the basketball around the perimeter and find the open man against the Cavs because of their commitment to protecting the three-point line. The Cavs are 3rd in opponent FG% on 0 dribbles due to limiting these passes and protecting against lobs. The Hawks rely on these shots, so they must mix up their offense and find new ways to score. 

Atlanta is 4th in pull up FG%; they need to attack off the dribble and create space. The Young/Capela pick and roll will be the main method of attack with Huerter, Hunter, and Gallinari spacing the floor. Because the Hawks defense is mediocre at best, they must hit their shots and crank up the pace. Allen hasn’t played since March 6th, so forcing him to run up and down the court will test his conditioning and potentially limit his impact. Overall, the Hawks can win this game if they repeat their offensive performance from last game. If they don’t shoot well, their defense won’t be good enough to keep them afloat.

Cleveland Cavaliers Starting Lineup

PG: Darius Garland
SG: Caris LeVert
SF: Lauri Markkanen
PF: Evan Mobley
C: Jarrett Allen

Cleveland Cavaliers Analysis

With Jarrett Allen back, they can slide Mobley to power forward. Allen is a better defensive matchup against Capela, and Mobley will be able to stifle Gallinari’s shot. Although Danilo is not a top option on the Hawks, he’s an important piece who stretches the floor and chips in 12-18 points. The Cavaliers win this game if they shut down the others and allow Trae Young to be a scorer. When Young is a scorer and facilitator, he is far more dangerous. Even if it means he scores 40 instead of 28-30 points, the Cavaliers would benefit by limiting him to 5-6 assists. The other Hawks players cannot create their own shot off the dribble except for Gallinari in bursts, so isolating Trae would significantly lower their ability to impact the game. Young produced 0.98 Points Per Possession in isolation, which ranked in the 72nd percentile. He shot a 40.5 FG% and 47.3 eFG% when isolating, so the Cavs should force him into this. His offensive impact is less dangerous if he doesn’t constantly have outlets to pass to. 

Cleveland is 25th in pace and loves to lengthen out possessions. They cannot allow this to be a high possession, run and gun type of game because the Hawks have much better shooters. A slow game will only benefit the Cavs. When they do get out in transition though, they can dominate the Hawks. Garland led the Cavs to the 3rd most efficient transition offense. The Hawks, meanwhile, are dead last in transition defense. Atlanta turns the ball over the least, so Cleveland will have to get easy points in transition instead of off turnovers. 

Braxton has been covering the NBA for Lineups since the 2022 season. He's worked with multiple collegiate coaching staffs regarding analytics and scouting, which has allowed him to understand the game on a deeper level. Braxton is also a contributor at Thunderous Intentions.

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