Amico: Quick dribbles on Cavs vs. Hawks

Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith and Hawks swingman Kyle Korver could be x-factors in the East semis.
Sam Amico
Sam Amico

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Random dribbles on the Cavaliers and Hawks, who square off in the Eastern Conference semifinals starting Monday.

1. The Cavs have defeated the Hawks seven straight — including the four-game sweep in last year’s conference finals. The Cavs won all three meetings this season.

2. None of that matters to the Hawks. They are banking on the Cavs being overconfident. The Hawks believe they can steal Game 1 in Cleveland and make it a series.

3. The Cavs and Hawks continue to have several ties, the most notable of which is Hawks assistant GM Wes Wilcox. He worked in basketball operations with the Cavs under former GM Chris Grant, as did current Hawks VP of public relations Garin Narain.

4. Two X-factors in this series are likely to be Hawks swingman Kyle Korver and Cavs shooting guard J.R. Smith. Korver was much better in the first-round series vs. the Celtics than he was during the regular season. He will test the Cavs’ perimeter defense if his recent upswing continues.

5. An J.R., of course, is J.R. And that’s usually a good thing. Just like last series, the Cavs will need him to support the Big Three of LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving by burying timely dagger shots from the outside.

FYI: I’ll have tons more — videos, podcasts, posts and hopefully a chat — as the playoffs march on. Feel free to let me know what you like and would like more of. This website is for you.

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