Keys for the Cleveland Cavaliers Going Into Game Two

Sean StancillSenior Writer IMay 5, 2009

CLEVELAND - MAY 05:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives around Joe Smith #5 of the Atlanta Hawks in Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on May 5, 2009 in Cleveland, Ohio.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Thanks to a large effort from Lebron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers were able to rally from an early seven-point deficit in the First Quarter and win by 27, 99-72.
Even though the Cavs' were able to make quick work of the Hawks, there were several areas that Cleveland will need to improve in their next match-up on Thursday night.
With that being said, here are the keys for the Cleveland Cavaliers going into Game Two:
Team Defense:
The Hawks' averaged 94 points per game against the Cavaliers in the regular season but thanks to pesky, persistent defense, the Cavaliers only allowed 72 points and held the Hawks to under 32 percent shooting in the second half.

To be more specific, Delonte West really did a good job on Hawks' shooting guard Joe Johnson, and bothered him with his speed and his active hands.

West never allowed Johnson to manifest a rhythm and it was a main reason the Cavs' won as Delonte's defense combined with Johnson's reluctance to be more aggressive blended together to produce a 1-0 Cavs' lead in their series.
Feed Zydrunas Ilgauskas:
In practice, Zyrdunas Ilgauskas nailed three-pointer after three-pointer in a succession of eight, displaying his versatility at the five.
Unfortunately, Z's hot-shooting didn't transfer towards Game One and the Lithuanian was arguably the most inefficient player on both teams for the entire game.

Ilgauskas really benefits from all the attention directed towards Lebron James and as usual the duo ran the pick-and-roll to perfection and Big Z got an array of good lucks from the perimeter. However he backfired to go 2-for-9 from the field and missed five jumpers.
Call it rust or simply a rare off-night, James should and will continue to create good looks for Ilgauskas in Game Two, solely because he's the Cavaliers' best option at the forward or the center position to space the floor.
On the glass, Horford's athleticism gave Ilgauskas trouble and the 33-year old, 10-year veteran who has underwent several surgeries and procedures on his troublesome ankles and feet that have caused him to miss substantial time in his career, just does not posses the agility and the foot-speed to stay with the youthful big man.
Ilgauskas' ankle also caused him to miss 16 more games during the regular season. Luckily for Big Z, he has Anderson Varejao to help out on Al Horford and the tag team will be assigned with the task of keeping Al off the glass.
Expect Lebron To Dish More:
Though James had 22 points at halftime and his enviable play was unquestionably inspired by receiving his new MVP award, the Cleveland Cavaliers' offense seemed to be stagnant at intermission though James collected 22 points and five rebounds and gave his team the lead.
However Lebron also had two turnovers to no assists and had the Hawks' been a far superior defensive squad such as teams like the Lakers, Spurs, Celtics, or the Rockets they would have been able to zero in on Lebron and forced the ball out of James' hands before he was able to get into a rhythm. 
But nonetheless this was not the case and Lebron wreaked havoc on the Atlanta Hawks while his team boasted a double-digit lead despite not integrating his teammates into the offense.
And when the ball is not shared and it sticks to only one player it can dramatically affect the mindsets of that player's teammates. 
For instance, when players are uninvolved in the offense it can lead to a lack of focus which can translate into shortcomings on either end of the floor as the game progresses. During playoff time and with Cleveland pitted up against a catch-fire team like the Hawks', the after-effects could be dangerous.
It wasn't until the game was safely salted away that James began to divvy the ball around to his teammates and he still had just as many turnovers as he did assists (three).

Also with James on the bench, the Cavs' offense began to flow and it was a major reason why their second unit was able to outscore Atlanta's 18-10.
Expect Head Coach Mike Brown to address with Lebron and anticipate a more balanced effort in Game Two.
Had the Hawks' held on to their First Quarter lead, this could have been the main reason why the Cavs' potentially lost the game but the firepower of James' prevailed.
The series between the Hawks' and the Cavs' will resume on Thursday back at Quicken Loans Arena with the Cavaliers up 1-0.