Season Series: Tied 1-1 Simply put, this series was must see TV. The first time these two sides met was in the first month of the season and it was a neck and neck battle with the Cavs leading most of the way. Then in the fourth quarter the Hawks backcourt combo of Devin Harris, Lou Williams, and Jeff Teague just became too much for the young gun Cavaliers. The Hawks would pull away from the Cavs to take the 2 possession win. These two sides would meet again later in the season with Atlanta touting a new intimidating frontcourt of Javale McGee and Anthony Randolph. These two with Atlanta star Josh Smith allowed this team to become one of the better defensive teams in the League. This however, did not intimidate the Cavaliers who were seeking revenge for the early season loss. Kyrie Irving put on his superman cape again in the fourth quarter scoring almost at will against the Hawks D. In the end the Cavaliers would win in another battle between two quality Eastern Conference teams. Matchup to Watch: Kyrie Irving vs Hawks D Why the Hawks D as a whole? Kyrie Irving cannot be stopped by just one man. Look for the Hawks to sag off the bigs of the Cavaliers to keep Kyrie out of the paint. The Cavaliers, however will have a counter to that in floor spacers Jon Leuer and Troy Murphy. There are sources reporting that the Cavaliers may also activate former Atlanta Hawk Vladimr Radmanovich to give the Cavalier a third perimeter based big. The Hawks may also employ a defense that has long been used against Kobe Bryant where they let Kyrie get his while shutting down the supporting cast. The Hawks may not have the defensive players to do that however as Dion Waiters and late season addition Michael Redd are guys who can get their own shots. Keys to Victory: Atlanta Hawks When the Hawks have been most successful it is when the backcourt of Lou Williams and a combination of Devin Harris/Jeff Teague is causing the young Cavs backcourt fits. Look for Lou Williams to try and take over the game in crunch time making Dion Waiters and Kyrie Irving work on the defensive end. Also, the Hawks must defend the goal with force. They made the trade to be the best and defending the goal, they need to play like the best to come out victorious. Keys to Victory: Cleveland Cavaliers Its not different for the Cavaliers in the postseason than it was in the preseason. This team has got to achieve some sort of balance. Yes superstars win titles, but superstars need help. The Cavs cannot afford for rookie Dion Waiters to suffer from stage fright. In fact, only Anderson Varejao in the Cavaliers starting 5 has been to the playoffs. Varejao must continue to lead by example by busting his ass for every rebound and loose ball. These young kids are easily influenced and seeing Varejao dive every and scrapping for rebounds and drawing charges will put a positive jolt into the young Cavaliers. Prediction: Atlanta Hawks over the Cavaliers in 6 games Cleveland is coming off of its best season since “The Decision” but unfortunately this team just is not ready for the big stage. They lack a consistent second scoring option (key word being consistent). Dion Waiters is very talented, but his inexperience and inconsistency will just be too much for the Cavaliers to overcome. We predict that Kyrie will get his (somewhere close to 27 points a game), but it just simply won’t be enough for the Cavaliers to move on.