While Star Wars fans are celebrating Star Wars Day (May the Fourth Be With You), NBA fans have Game 2 of the Hawks-Cavaliers series to watch Wednesday night. After blowing an 18-point lead, the Cavs recovered in the 4th quarter to take Game 1, 104-93. The Hawks were impressive during their runs, challenging the Cavs to increase their intensity during the second half.
Here are four things to look for in Wednesday night’s game.
1. Who will win the matchup between Kyrie Irving and Jeff Teague?
Irving has arguably been the hottest player in this year’s playoffs, averaging 26.2 points per game on 46.7 percent shooting. He has been able to get to the basket with ease, making plays for the Cavs when they needed them the most. Jeff Teague is also playing well, averaging 15.3 points per game for the Hawks. He is one of the Hawks’ main scorers, along with Paul Millsap and Al Horford. With Irving and Teague both playing at a high level, their performance will be a key factor in Game 2 and the rest of the series.
2. Will LeBron James be a facilitator, a scorer or both?
James has been both a facilitator and scorer throughout his career. It’s what makes his game unique. As he has gotten older, however, he has played the role of facilitator more often. James averaged 25.3 points per game in the regular season, one of the lowest scoring averages of his career. But his desire to have the offense run through him is still present. He is averaging 7.2 assists per game in the playoffs.
3. Will Al Horford shoot more than 30 percent from the field?
Al Horford did not have a good Game 1. He shot 30.7 percent from the field and scored only 10 points. Horford has averaged 12.1 points per game during the playoffs on 41.3 percent shooting. His mediocre performance so far didn’t prevent the Hawks from sending the Celtics on vacation, but if he continues to underperform against the Cavs, the Hawks will be down 2-0 heading back to Atlanta.
4. Will Dennis Schröder be the Hawks’ x-factor again?
Dennis Schröder isn’t known for his stellar shooting, but with a playoff career-high 27 points in Game 1, he will force the Cavs to close him out more effectively. Schröder shot 5-of-10 from the 3-point arc Monday night and tallied six assists. He had a plus-minus rating of plus-3 in Game 1, showing his importance to a team that sometimes struggles to find offensive output. If Schröder has a good Game 2, the Cavs will have to respect his streak shooting ability.