Half-assed Preview: Hornets @ Cavaliers

As John Reid points out in today's Times-Picayune, the Cleveland game this evening begins a tough stretch for the Hornets. Seven of their next ten games are on the road. Nine of those ten opponents are either Playoff bound, or in the thick of the race. Oh, and given that the Nuggets and Clippers won last night, the Hornets have been bumped back to ninth in the Conference. It's all uphill from here.

No wonder he's so good

News and notes and possibly some quotes…

  • The Cavs have a 32-24 record, but nobody's convinced they're for real this season. Maybe it's the fact they play most their games on the easy side of the map, maybe it's their inablility to beat the Pistons, or maybe it's LeBron James not being quite so Jesus-like anymore.
  • LeBron is still pretty damn good, though. Like, even better than Desmond Mason. His numbers this season: 26.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.7 assists. Those are like per game numbers, too. Not per week.
  • Cleveland are 1-2 since the All-Star break, with their lone win coming by a single point in Toronto last week. Their last game was Sunday in Miami, which they lost, 81-86, despite the absence of Dwyane Wade and his dislocated shoulder. LeBron had 29 points in that one, Larry Hughes scored 14, and everyone else stood around and watched.
  • Some nasty news for Cavs' pivot Zydrunas Ilgauskas recently: His wife delivered stillborn twins a few weeks ago. He was back for the Miami game, and managed 8 points and 9 rebounds before fouling out.
  • The Hornets and Cavs met already this season back on December 11th, with out guys coming out on top, 95-89. Refresh. Chris Paul had possibly his best games of the season in that one, while Desmond Mason held LeBron to just 15 points.
  • The Cavs are 20-8 at home this season.
  • Sasha Pavlovic has missed the past couple of games with flulike symptoms. As Brian Windhorst tells us in his blog

    [Head coach Mike] Brown said Sasha was so sick with the flu it was "…coming out of everywhere. Both ends, his ears and his nose." Gee, thanks for that, Mike. Um, so Sasha is pretty sick. Not sure about his status for Tuesday.

    Apparently the Cavs are really missing that dude.

  • Cavalier Attitude are calling Larry Hughes "nothing short of a collosal flop." Ouch.
  • Former Hornets trooper David Wesley is riding the pine in Cleveland in the the dog days of his career. He's played in 30 games this season, averaging 2.1ppg on horrible shooting. Still love the guy, though.
  • Cleveland suck worse than us at the freebies, currently ranking last in the NBA in free throw percentage at 68.3%. The Hornets are fourth-worst in the L at 71.6%.
  • Rookie Cavs guard Daniel "Boobie" Gibson, who has been starting alongside Larry Hughes in the backcourt the past few games, celebrates his 21st birthday today. Amazing.

Tip this evening is at the super-early time of 6pm. Methinks the Hornets should win this one, so they'll probably lose by 20. It's a game they can ill-afford to drop given the tough stretch ahead. Relevant linkage below if you care to do more of the reading thing.

Also playing the game of basketball this evening are them Warriors and T-Wolves, both of whom have a Lemmywinks-like view of the Hornets in the standings. The Warriors are in Milwaukee and the T-Wolves are hosting Dallas. Good luck with that, KG.

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