Posted by GameSetMatch on 29th December 2009
The Hawks, who will play the Cavaliers in Atlanta on Tuesday night and in Cleveland on Wednesday night, made the playoffs last year, but their 47-35 record did not scare any of the Eastern Conference’s elite teams.
By the time the Hawks met the Cavs in the playoffs, they had been slowed by a seven-game series against the Miami Heat and were swept in four games.
This season’s Hawks, led by Joe Johnson (21.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game), are playing at a higher level. They are 21-8 and showing no sign of drop-off.
They rank fourth in scoring and lead the NBA in point differential in their victories.
The Cavs still make their name on the defensive end of the court. They rank second in the league in field-goal percentage allowed, a fact that has contributed greatly to their four-game winning streak, three of which came at the end of a West Coast road trip.
Click here to read the full article – By George M. Thomas of Beacon Journal
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Posted by TheHockeyGuy on 1st December 2009
The Thrashers won a game. The Panthers lost a goaltender.
Max Afinogenov’s goal with 5.5 seconds remaining gave the Thrashers a 4-3 victory over Florida, their fourth straight victory, Monday night. Late-game heroics have become routine for Afinogenov. The game-winner was his 11th goal of the season and eighth in the third period. Five of the late goals have come in the final minute and a half of games.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Afinogenov said. “We are winning games and playing with these guys is unbelievable.”
It wasn’t the Panthers’ night. In a bizarre play early on, Florida’s Tomas Vokoun was taken off the ice on a stretcher after he was hit squarely in the head by the swung stick of his own defenseman on a wild evening at Philips Arena.
Florida’s Keith Ballard swung his stick in frustration after an Ilya Kovalchuk first-period goal, striking Vokoun on his mask. Even as the goaltender was falling back into the goal, Ballard swung his stick again, striking the goal post.
Click here to read the full article – By Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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