Game On: Hornets @ Cavaliers

By:
Published: March 6, 2011

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.  Honestly, I’ve always felt that is a much more realistic evaluation of their talent.  As much of a stars league as this is, LeBron James isn’t actually worth 40 wins over the course of a season.  25?  Sure.  40? No.

So the lesson is not to take the team lightly.  They aren’t starting replacement level talent anymore.  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.  They’ve been sitting at 103.5 points per 100 posessions for about three weeks now without it moving at all.  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.  If that defense is operating at full strength, the offense can sputter a little and still be enough.  If it continues the way it has the past three weeks, the Hornets lose.

Injuries:

Cavaliers: Semih Erden is out. Boobie Gibson is out.  Antawn Jamison is out.
Hornets: Ariza is out.  West is questionable. I will run this preview as if Landry is starting.

Positional Analysis

PG: Ramon Sessions v Chris Paul
Advantage: Hornets
Ramon Sessions is the best player in Cleveland, and he’s very strong on the pick and roll.  If Paul doesn’t keep up the energy he displayed in Memphis,  Sessions is going to wreck the Hornets at the point of attack.  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.  That’s one of the higest rates for Point Guards in the league, and its makes him trouble.

SG: Anthony Parker v Marco Belinelli
Advantage:  Even
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.  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.  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
Advantage: Cavaliers
Neither produces near anything, and play because they don’t make totally stupid mistakes defensively.  Gee has at least proven he can hit his three point shooting.  Pondexter . . . well, honestly, he hasn’t shown anything consistently, yet.

PF: Samardo Samuels v Carl Landry
Advantage: Hornets
If you haven’t heard of Samardo, don’t feel bad.  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.  He’s an energy guy who likes to mix it up for rebounds, but is only moderately successful at it.  Landry should be able to beast him for easy points in the paint.

C: JJ Hickson v Emeka Okafor
Advantage: Hornets
JJ was the hang-up for the Cavaliers trading for Amare Stoudemire.  As always, people overrate their own players.  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.  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.

Bench
Baron Davis, Luke Harangody, Christian Eyenga, Ryan Hollins, Manny Harris v
Aaron Gray, Jason Smith, Willie Green, Jarrett Jack
Advantage: Even

With the Hornets missing their primary big man, the again will give up any advantages they had in the paint off the bench.  Harangody has been shooting lights out as a Cavalier, and Hollins is active, if somewhat inept.  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.  Like he always does.

Let’s hope the energy stays high and the Hornets don’t take this team lightly.  Enjoy the game!

106 comments
nikkoewan
nikkoewan

piccolo is also a name of a very loud yet small firework here in the philippines :)

QueenBee
QueenBee

Belinelli said he calls CP3 'piccolo'. I know he hopes piccolo is ok.

Gec
Gec

isn't piccolo the green guy from Dragon Ball?!

42
42

It's also the instrument in a classical orchestra that is capable of the highest note, at least through traditional means..

f.g. di bene
f.g. di bene

piccolo means "small"

f.g. di bene
f.g. di bene

sorry for being pedantic, i'm just italian and thought you were asking what does piccolo "means".... it's 4 in the morning here right now :D

QueenBee
QueenBee

I know f.g. di bene. I just think it's cute. :)

James Online
James Online

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.

CP3nBrees
CP3nBrees

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!

Gec
Gec

i knew it would be a Paul Pierce Shuffle!!

QueenBee
QueenBee

LOL! That Chris Paul is something else I tell ya.

JCS
JCS

For someone who doesn't have twitter, you're sure on twitter a lot. Umjussayin...

QueenBee
QueenBee

If CP3 was still 175 and had the same body he had when he first came into the league, he'd be bad off.

f.g. di bene
f.g. di bene

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.

QueenBee
QueenBee

Agree. I've been saying for a while now that we can't play teams records. We have to play every team as though they're top notch. Never underestimate a team.

peronas
peronas

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.

QueenBee
QueenBee

Good win. Way to respond guys. Way to respond.

JCS
JCS

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!

QueenBee
QueenBee

Nice teardrop Willie! LET'S GEAUX HORNETS!!!!

QueenBee
QueenBee

CP's cousin just tweeted... Thank the lord just got the word that he is ok 1 minute ago via ÃœberSocial

mbdtf
mbdtf

Jack in double-digits again! I'm so glad we have him.

Chuck
Chuck

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

Stefan
Stefan

They said Chris Paul was laying on the court to catch his breath. I'm sure they think that's why he went to the hospital too. Bastards...

QueenBee
QueenBee

Yes! Way to fast break Hornets!!!

QueenBee
QueenBee

Good job Belinelli!!! Closed out on Parker quickly. Good job man!

QueenBee
QueenBee

We need to win this game because I'm pretty sure we'll lose to the Bulls tomorrow. Lord have mercy.

QueenBee
QueenBee

Respond in a positive way to adversity Hornets! You can do it! LET'S GEAUX!!!

mbdtf
mbdtf

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!

Mark
Mark

Amazing hustle by Landry off the Jack TO. You won't see DX ever get on the floor like that.

QueenBee
QueenBee

Boobie needs to fire his barber.

QueenBee
QueenBee

Come on Willie. Hold it together man.

QueenBee
QueenBee

Head injury sounds like concussion. Hopefully mild since he's at least responsive and aware of surroundings.

HiMyNameisSteven
HiMyNameisSteven

@RYAN--- im sorry but i definately think baron is their best player.... sessions is good but baron is much better

QueenBee
QueenBee

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

QueenBee
QueenBee

TIGHTEN UP DAT D HORNETS!!!

QueenBee
QueenBee

Come on Marco! We can't afford turnovers like that one.

Stefan
Stefan

I'd put half the blame on Willie on that one. Probably more.

QueenBee
QueenBee

Yeah you're probably right. I didn't see who overthrew it but you're right.

Stefan
Stefan

Yes! Good job Hornets! That's how you react to a teammate's injury! Win this game by 20 for CP3!

QueenBee
QueenBee

Hold their asses to 66 points!! LMAO.

buzz
buzz

Apparently CP3 talking and moving his fingers and toes.....so hopefully thats good news!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Go hornets

Nik
Nik

CP3 just tweeted "#np @RealFredHammond Thank You Lord" fred hammond is a preacher or somethin... a sigh of relief is in order for everyone

ur_gmas_daughter
ur_gmas_daughter

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

peronas
peronas

I think that was before the game, unfortunately, it was posted 11 hours ago...

Nik
Nik

downer... my comp said it was tweeted a min ago :( resume panic mode everyone... ps. really errie that he tweeted that earlier in the day

QueenBee
QueenBee

Actually the time is messed up because he tweeted that wayyy early today.

Stefan
Stefan

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.

CP3nBrees
CP3nBrees

Their black commentator is a homer...