After losing Game 1 of the 2015 NBA Eastern Conference Finals, the Atlanta Hawks have put themselves in a difficult position against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Thanks to a great regular season, the Hawks earned the top-seed and home-court advantage throughout the Eastern Conference playoffs; but theloss negates that advantage, making Game 2 a virtual must-win.
Only 11 teams in NBA playoff history have ever come back to win a series after being down 0-2, just two of which were the home team in the first two games. That added pressure of the game has only added to the demand for tickets among Hawks fans. According to TicketNetwork, the average ticket price for Game 2 in Atlanta is $466, the highest of any game in the series.
NBA Eastern Conference Finals Ticket Price Breakdown*
*Ticket prices are as of 5/21/15. Due to the nature of the secondary ticket market, ticket prices may fluctuate.
Game 2 and the rest of the series will hinge, in part, on the health of Hawks forward DeMarre Carroll, who injured his knee in the Game 1 loss. Known for his defense, Carroll has been among the most successful players at stopping Cavs’ star LeBron James this season. Currently, the Hawks are calling Carroll’s knee injury a sprain, but time will tell how effective he will be going forward in the series.
In Cleveland, this is the Cavs first trip to the Eastern Conference Finals since 2009, but despite that fact, the average price for Cavs tickets for Game 3 at Quicken Loans Arena is just $303, the lowest average price of all games during either of the conference finals series.
Without the services of Kevin Love, who was injured during the first round of playoffs, the Cavs are relying heavily on role players to fill the void. In Game 1, it was J.R. Smith who provided the extra scoring that Cleveland needed. Smith, who was acquired from the Knicks mid-season, scored 28 points including eight three-pointers.
The focus of the Hawks defense will continue to be James and point guard Kyrie Irving, so if the Cavs want to advance to the NBA Finals, Smith and other role players will have to step up.