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NBA Playoffs 2015: Eastern Conference Finals Cleveland Cavaliers at Atlanta Hawks

Two teams enter, and one goes on to the NBA Finals

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

So out west the Golden State Warriors are up 3-0 on the Houston Rockets, and are all but a lock for the NBA Finals. Out East the higher seeded Atlanta Hawks go into Game 3 down 0-2 after getting demolished by LeBron James in the first two games. Lebron is just good enough to beat the most team first team in basketball almost single-handedly. Or perhaps this is indicative of how bad a team can be when they play the best wing in basketball, with injuries to DeMarre Carroll and Thabo Sefolosha (Thabo being out entirely). The Cleveland Cavaliers fans are going to be ready for this game, lining up for a while to get in the arena. I can't imagine that the Hawks are going to find it a quiet experience. I know they have played 41+ home games in their library, but in the midwest they do love their basketball. They will be loud. LeBron will go for the knockout punch early. The Hawks are staggering right now, it there ever was a time for a Paul Millsap type Miracle it would be tonight in a must win game. Atlanta can win two games on the road here and still have a great shot of going to the NBA Finals. But will they? I don't know. I do know that LeBron James will be ready.

Game 3: Hawks @ Cavaliers 6:30 PM MT -- on TNT

Game 1 Info:

The NBA Playoffs have their two Eastern Conference teams tip off shortly. And I think that this series is going to be much more entertaining than the Western Conference one, even though Game 1 between the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets was a shootout. The East will be won by one of the Atlanta Hawks and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Hawks are a team first squad of selfless passers who have strong defensive rotations, and a consistent offense that attacks you from the inside and out. Al Horford 's return from a season long injury last season is one of the reasons why this team has made it this far, but the generous contributions by former Utah Jazz players Paul Millsap, Kyle Korver, and DeMarre Carroll cannot be stated enough. Millsap is Mr. Cool who does almost everything great on the floor. Kyle is blossoming from being a sharp shooter to a two way player who can still drill it from deep. But most surprising (to some, including myself) is the transformation of DeMarre from being a 10 day contract player to a legit three and D guy. I honestly don't know what Carroll is doing better right now, shooting the ball or defending. The Hawks will need both this series against LeBron James and his Cavaliers Heat Cavaliers. LeBron is the be all and end all player for this series, but Kyrie Irving has the opportunity to torch Jeff Teague and Dennis Schroder. For LeBron's sake he's going to need some help going up against the ultimate team. Can either of these teams beat the Dubs? I don't know. But they are directly in each other's way to the NBA Finals.

Game 1 tips off tonight at 6:30 PM MT on TNT!