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NBA Playoffs Game Thread: Hawks @ Cavs & Mavs @ Nuggets

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The SB Nation basketball blogs that are no longer in the playoffs (or that never made the playoffs) are going to try a little something special for all NBA fans by combining all non-playoff team game threads into one for the remainder of the playoffs.

I think it's fitting that Motown String Music kicks it off tonight with the Atlanta Hawks vs. Cleveland Cavaliers because it's the first time in nearly a decade the Pistons will not be playing in the second round, and that's due to being rudely dismissed by the Cavs last round.

So for each night of playoff basketball a different non-playoff team's blog will host the game thread where fans from all over the NBA can come and comment on our collective pain that our teams are not in the playoffs right now and on the actual transpiring games themselves. Assuming that everyone in this community is an overall fan of the NBA, this will be a neat change of pace.

All the same rules will apply. If comments start reaching the 500+ mark (which has never happened on this site) please look for a comment from me on opening up overflow thread(s). If you are a fan of one of the teams playing you probably want to be on their website, which are:

Fear the Sword -Cleveland Cavaliers

Peachtree Hoops -Atlanta Hawks

Pickaxe and Roll -Denver Nuggets

Mavs Moneyball - Dallas Mavericks

As the title suggests, this will be open for both the Hawks @ Cavs game and the Mavs @ Nuggets game, which starts around 10:30 PM ET. Normally, I probably wouldn't stay up late to watch another team play into the wee hours of the morning, but tonight will be different as I will already be up watching my Red Wings play in Game 3 of their 2nd round series in the NHL Playoffs.

For a quick preview of the Cavs/Hawks series, since it's the one that hasn't started yet, you can continue reading this post. Otherwise, just click comments and join the game threads. Enjoy.

Game One of the Second Round: Atlanta Hawks at Cleveland Cavaliers

This might sound crazy, but I think this series could rival the Bulls/Celtics series for the best of this year's playoffs when it's all said and done. Or it could be another clean sweep for the Cavs. Who really knows?

One thing I know for sure is that this series will have plenty of highlights. With recently named NBA MVP Lebron James and the Hawks' Josh Smith on the same court, we're bound to see a double dosage of jaw dropping plays.

A few reasons I think the Hawks have a legitimate shot at giving the Cavs a run for their money is because they're fresh off beating a superstar in Dwyane Wade, while the Cavs haven't played a game in over a week. This could mean the Hawks will be tired and the Cavs will be fresh, or it could mean the Hawks have all the momentum while the Cavs will be rusty.

This series is particularly interesting because they both have similar playoff history resumes (since the Cavs organization started). The main thing behind that is that neither has won an NBA championship since in that time period and both have been on the rise in recent years.

With all that being said, I do think, after having seen the Cavs pick apart my Pistons in round one, that this Cavs team is as determined of a team I've ever seen. I think this is their year, Lebron's year, and every fan in Cleveland's year who has been waiting for a championship. Cavs in 6.