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New Orleans Hornets at Cleveland Cavaliers »
Game On: Hornets @ Cavaliers
Matchup: Hornets(36-28) @ Cavaliers(12-49)
Off Efficiency: Hornets 103.5(18th), Cavaliers 99.5(28th)
Def Efficiency: Hornets 100.8(6th), Cavaliers 110.2(30th)
Since the epic 26-game losing streak the Cavaliers have gotten some of their injured players back and managed to return closer to what we saw from them the first 17 games of the season: Near .500 ball.Â Honestly, I’ve always felt that is a much more realistic evaluation of their talent.Â As much of a stars league as this is, LeBron James isn’t actually worth 40 wins over the course of a season.Â 25?Â Sure.Â 40? No.
So the lesson is not to take the team lightly.Â They aren’t starting replacement level talent anymore.Â It’s not brilliant talent by any means, but it’s been good enough to earn wins over the Lakers and Knicks(twice) over the past couple weeks.
As for the Hornets, it’s actually been somewhat bizarre how steady their offense has been.Â They’ve been sitting at 103.5 points per 100 posessions for about three weeks now without it moving at all.Â Now, this late in the season, it usually doesn’t shift that much, but usually it shifts SOME. Defensively, the Hornets have slipped, and that continues to be their primary issue.Â If that defense is operating at full strength, the offense can sputter a little and still be enough.Â If it continues the way it has the past three weeks, the Hornets lose.
Cavaliers: Semih Erden is out. Boobie Gibson is out.Â Antawn Jamison is out.
Hornets: Ariza is out.Â West is questionable. I will run this preview as if Landry is starting.
PG: Ramon Sessions v Chris Paul
Ramon Sessions is the best player in Cleveland, and he’s very strong on the pick and roll.Â If Paul doesn’t keep up the energy he displayed in Memphis,Â Sessions is going to wreck the Hornets at the point of attack.Â While you’ll look at sessions and not see the most tremendous shooting percentages, all you need to see is that he draws almost 6 free throws a game, and hits them at a high rate.Â That’s one of the higest rates for Point Guards in the league, and its makes him trouble.
SG: Anthony Parker v Marco Belinelli
Parker is a nice shooter, but he’s gotten old and the rest of his game is no longer as strong as it once was.Â He’ll still give the Cavaliers a few savvy passes for easy buckets, and probably draw a charge, but Belinelli should be able to play him to a standstill.Â If the Belinelli we’ve seen the past few games shows us (consistency is always a question) then this position swings in our favor.
SF: Alonzo Gee v Quincy Pondexter
Neither produces near anything, and play because they don’t make totally stupid mistakes defensively.Â Gee has at least proven he can hit his three point shooting.Â Pondexter . . . well, honestly, he hasn’t shown anything consistently, yet.
PF: Samardo Samuels v Carl Landry
If you haven’t heard of Samardo, don’t feel bad.Â He’s only played 25 games for the Cavaliers this year, but gets the nod as Jamison is out for 5-7 weeks after surgery.Â He’s an energy guy who likes to mix it up for rebounds, but is only moderately successful at it.Â Landry should be able to beast him for easy points in the paint.
C: JJ Hickson v Emeka Okafor
JJ was the hang-up for the Cavaliers trading for Amare Stoudemire.Â As always, people overrate their own players.Â JJ is a nice rebounder, a solid finisher on the pick and roll, and has a very low Basketball IQ, getting out of position consistently.Â Expect a nice block or two, and a few dunks, but Emeka should be able to handle his business and as long as JJ can’t feed off an explosive Sessions attack the Hornets should take this matchup.
Baron Davis, Luke Harangody, Christian Eyenga, Ryan Hollins, Manny Harris v
Aaron Gray, Jason Smith, Willie Green, Jarrett Jack
With the Hornets missing their primary big man, the again will give up any advantages they had in the paint off the bench.Â Harangody has been shooting lights out as a Cavalier, and Hollins is active, if somewhat inept.Â Baron Davis also played his first game as a Cavalier against the Knicks, and ran the offense well – even if he did jack up too many shots.Â Like he always does.
Let’s hope the energy stays high and the Hornets don’t take this team lightly.Â Enjoy the game!
If Chris is out and Jack runs the offense, Marco's offense will go way down because he'll never see the ball. At Toronto and NOLA, Jack has shut Marco out in competition for playing time. Only looks his way for a bail out. Just watch. Things were falling into place with the recent lineup adjustment. With QPon basically missing, they are winning 4 on 5. Even so, in many ways they play better offensively with Ariza out. Nice gutcheck win. Tomorrow will be tough with Rose playing so well, assuming that Chris doesn't play.
CP's brother CJ tweeted "he wanted to get off the stretcher and play but they wanted to make sure he was ok" What a great news, we might see CP in Chicago tomorrow!
it was really bad to see cp3 go down.... I hope it will be ok really soon. the match was good, the cavs are the cavs, but still they got better after the deadline and they just won @msg.
Glad to hear it sounds like CP will be ok. Loved the resilience the rest of the team showed in not only getting the win after their leader went down and the uncertainty surrounding his injury, but the way they handled the rest of the game and really broke it open. Good to get another win and good to hear good news coming out from those close to CP.
Just tuned in and from the looks of the thread it appears CP3 caught a flipper to the dome. Did someone put a hex on this team for injuries? As soon as one guy gets off the DL another one goes on, and they're always starters!
CP's cousin just tweeted... Thank the lord just got the word that he is ok 1 minute ago via ÃœberSocial
I stopped watching at halftime. What did the Cleveland announcers say? We they calling CP soft or saying he was milking it or something? Also, I'm starting to learn that virtually every team's announcers are terrible...except the ones that also do national commentary, like Gus Johnson and whoever else
I have loved the way we have responded to the unfortunate injury. My prayers are with CP3. Now, let's close this game and get the W!
Head injury sounds like concussion. Hopefully mild since he's at least responsive and aware of surroundings.
@RYAN--- im sorry but i definately think baron is their best player.... sessions is good but baron is much better
From John Reid's twitter... #Hornets officials said Chris Paul suffered a head injury, but he was responsive and aware of his surroundings. He was taken to a hospital. 2 minutes ago via web
Apparently CP3 talking and moving his fingers and toes.....so hopefully thats good news!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Go hornets
CP3 just tweeted "#np @RealFredHammond Thank You Lord" fred hammond is a preacher or somethin... a sigh of relief is in order for everyone
Fred Hammond is preacher and multi-grammy award winning Gospel artist originally from Detroit but he's in TX right now. I actually know him
Cleveland announcers after Baron's buzzer beater: "BD! Knocks it down. Saves the Cavaliers a lot of headaches here at the end of the 3rd quarter. The Hornets kind of fell asleep." I'm sure it wasn't on purpose, but the use of the words "headaches" and "asleep" in that sentence seem kind of messed up after the Chris Paul situation.