October 5, 2022

Hardwood Paroxysm

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Playing the NBA, Cleveland-Atlanta 101-107: Hawks and Gallinari in the playoffs

The Hawks return to Cleveland thanks to 38 points from their star. Blue contributes 14. Tomorrow in 19 Italian races -1 with Heat

David Cinellato

& commat; dchinellato

forever young. In Atlanta, it’s not just a song, it’s the motto of an entire team. Young, of course, is Trae Young, the phenomenon who takes the Hawks to the playoffs by the back door to play a brutal game in Cleveland, just when Atlanta has its back against the wall. Instead, the star put up 32 of the 38 points in the second half, to lead the 107-101 second-half comeback at the Cavs and cross the first round with Miami: Race -1 tomorrow at 7 p.m. Italian time. The Hawks had a bad time, being put on the ropes by a Cleveland three-and-a-half and injured Clint Capella, but they also fought back thanks to the contribution of Danilo Galinari, 14 points in 41 minutes of commitment and experience. The Hawks’ display silenced Cleveland fans: The best season since LeBron’s second farewell was worth the end of the playoff, but it remains an excellent year to build an important future.

in flight

“I have reason to believe Tre Young and the group of players makes me think I can always win,” coach Macmillan says frankly. It’s hard to blame him, after his star player was once again exceptional, making the difference in the second half (32 of his 38 points) after an opaque first half. “There is no change in the opposite direction, it is about staying aggressive and continuing to believe in your work,” he says. Young is the reason Atlanta participated in the playoffs: When he changed his pace, found a way to break through the Cavs’ defense, the Hawks sped off. Young won’t always be perfect, but as Macmillan repeats many times, he appears to have been born to play in the most important stage the NBA can offer. “He believes in himself, he’s not afraid of failure, he doesn’t hold back when there’s a difference, he just throws himself into the challenge,” says the coach.

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Atlanta won not only thanks to its star player, but thanks to a defense that changed gears in the second half, giving Cleveland 40 points after 61 in the first half and doing a better job of protecting the iron. The Hawks are now where they wanted: the major playoff draw (“Not getting there would have been a huge disappointment,” Cleveland’s Bogdan Bogdanovic, 19, said. With Miami they will start to lose, especially if Capella’s injury (high blood pressure in his right knee) is as serious as it seems, but they have shown that they are not afraid of anything.

Goodbye Kavs

Cleveland before the All-Star Game was fighting for a field advantage in the first round, and now finds themselves outside the main draw. Jarrett Allen, who has been off since March 6 and finished with 11 points in 35 minutes, didn’t even need to beat Atlanta. However, the Cavs showed those glimpses of the future that turned 2021-22 into a milestone for their relaunch: rookie Evan Mobley (18 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists) showed why he promised to be a star, Darius Garland (21 points, 9 assists) decisive, much better than Young for two and a half quarters) because he played the All Star Game. The Cavs have a youth roster to build on, and the experience of playing this loser against the Falcons will be critical to their growth. 14 first-half points, based on triples and defense, were resolved in the third quarter when long shots stopped falling and Atlanta increased laps. The regret remains, but when he moves to Cleveland, the certainty of a great future will remain.

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the match

A brutal departure from Cleveland, leading 28-14 at 3′ from the first siren. Atlanta needed Bogdanovic to reopen the game, but in the nightmarish first half they slipped more than 10 points and Clint Kabila lost due to high blood pressure in his left knee. The Cavs lead 61-51 when the recovery begins, but then Young becomes irresistible: At 1’42” from the third siren, he signs the first pass for Atlanta, who was at the end of the quarter at 84-84 thanks to 16 points from her star. Young continues to do Wonder, as he pulls Atlanta into round 11-0 which equals 95-86 halfway. Cleveland heads up with Mobley, who brings him back to just under 100-99 by 90″ from the finish. Young, however, continues to give magic. He has brought Atlanta to Miami, for the playoffs that is sure of his ability to beat anyone. Including the best team in the East.

Cleveland: Markkanen 26 (4/5 of two, 6/12 of three), Garland 21, Mobley 18. Rebounds: Mobley 8, Markkanen 8. Assists: Garland 9.
Atlanta: GALLINARI 13 (2/7, 2/6, 4/4 tl), 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block at 40’51”. Young 38 (9/14, 4/11, 8/9 tl), Bogdanovic 19, Huerter 13. Follow-ups: Okongwu 9. Assist: Young 9.