The Hornets execute the Cavs after Paul leaves on stretcher

With 4:35 to go in the third quarter, my stomach landed in my mouth as we returned from Commercial break to see Chris Paul being strapped onto a stretcher.  Minutes before, after having lost the ball on a foray through the paint, both Paul and Ramon Sessions went after the loose ball, and Paul caught Sessions shoulder – and the weight of his 190 lbs - directly in the face.  He collapsed, and the Hornets had to call time to prevent a three second violation.

It was pretty unsettling to watch him get carted out, but at least we can all breathe a sigh of relief after CJ Paul’s(CP3’s brother and business manager) tweet following the game:

Thanks for everyones concerns. @Oneandonlycp3 is ok. He wanted to get off the stretcher and play but they wanted to make sure he was ok.

Phew.  He did take a shot to the head.  Sports leagues have started being very careful about potential head and neck injuries.  I applaud that.

Now we can move onto a game that for two quarters was a lot closer than it had reason to be.  The Cavaliers two big men, Hickson and Samuels, were drilling jumpshots from 20 feet, and Baron Davis was actually setting his feet before letting fly from three.  Those guys combined to keep the Hornets from breaking the game open.  In the second half, however, the Hornets just kept executing, and the Cavaliers did not, largely because Davis started dominating the ball and the Cavs were no longer running the sets that put them in a position to succeed.  The final score was 96-81. (Box Score)

David West

West had been having a pretty solid game up until Chris Paul went down.  When Paul went down, however, he put on his big boy pants and spearheaded the Hornets attack.  He drilled two shots, forced an And-1, and found Willie on a break for an easy layup.  In the fourth, the Cavs kept overloading and doubling him, but he handled it cooly, found the open men, or split the defense for buckets in the lane.  It was a masterful offensive showing, and he ended with 23 points on 13 shots.

The Three Amigos

The bench trio of Jack, Landry and Green once again outdid their opponents, with Jack coming in for Paul and running a calm, calculating attack balanced with forays into the paint for mid-range pull-ups.  Landry wasn’t as impactful as he had been, but they actually double-teamed him in the post twice.  When was the last time we had a bench post player that teams even considered sending a double team on?  I can’t say enough about Jack’s offense tonight, though.  He looked great, and Green’s defense on Baron Davis triggered a bunch of turnovers.

Other Observations:

  • For about a quarter, I thought JJ Hickson was going to make me eat my words about having low Basketball IQ.  He was playing a calm game, hitting open shots, picking out open perimeter players for nifty passes, and generally playing well.  Then came the third when he continuously was out of position trying to defend West, had some stupid fouls, and then, inexplicably started thinking he could post, dribble away from the basket and hit fadeaways.  If he did it once, no big deal, but he tried to shoot off the dribble 5 times in the same quarter – without even coming close on his shots.  I wish the camera had shifted to Byron so we could have seen his head explode.
  • Okafor had his usual unimpressive line – but his defense on the pick and roll was excellent.  He also had some sweet blocks.  I wish I could post video of the block he had on Hickson in the first, but my broadcast was badly pixelated.
  • Semih Erden was awful.  He KILLED the cavs.   He committed stupid fouls, was out of position all the time,  and David West and Emeka Okafor abused him.  It was ugly.  He also had the creepiest moment of the game, when they showed him during the Pre-game because he was coming back from injury, and he was doing something in his shorts, staring down the baseline, and licking his lips.  Ew?  I guess I’m glad I’m not on TV a lot though.  I’m sure I’d be caught with my finger up my nose or something.  Not that I pick my nose or anything . . .
  • Aaron Gray was painful tonight.  So was Quincy, who blew all his open shots.  He’ s got to learn to knock those down.  At least Pondexter had a nice block, though.
  • That Samardo Samuels kid has a future in the league.  Strong, pretty quick on his feet, and if his mid-range jumper wasn’t a fluke, multi-faceted.  I loved his defense on West in the first half, and couldn’t understand why Scott didn’t send him out there to take West again in the second.
  • Can’t forget Belinelli.  He did his best Rip Hamilton impression all night, cutting, running, and drilling jumpers from everywhere.  He even mixed it up for a few rebounds.  A nice solid night.

End of the roadtrip tomorrow in Chicago.  As soon as we know when Paul will see the court again, we’ll be sure to pass it on!  Have a good night!

35 responses to “The Hornets execute the Cavs after Paul leaves on stretcher”

  1. I said it in the game thread and I’ll say it again..

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

  2. good overall game for the team… i’m still worried with jack playing the point. the shots are going in atm, but if they stop to drop his impact will be less than zero. he’s not watching for his teammates, he doesn’t organize the attack, the flow of our offense is just bad, and he can’t help his teammates to find their rhytm. he’s a good scorer right now, but i really don’t like to watch him running the point guard position.

  3. How long have the Cavs had Semih Erden? I thought the Young Turk was a Celt for the season. Anyway, he just joined the NBA so he’s green. Under the right tutor he could become a great back up center. Gray on the other hand, performs sub par for the European D-League. I’d rather have Erden, but Ryan Hollins overall.

  4. i actually think this is deffinetly one of jacks most solid performances in a hornets uniform.
    He managed to find his team mates without turning the ball over too much, finishing with 14 points 6 boards 5 assists and 1 turnover. much better than his usual 2 assists and 2-3 turnovers

  5. The collision took place basically right in front of me, and I was never too worried about Chris. His body language and what have you wasn’t that of someone who was seriously injured, like Marquis Daniels after his freak incident, who just didn’t really move. You never can be too sure, though. The Cleveland Clinic has his back, anyway.

    I expected the team to fall apart mentally after that, but they dominated the rest of the half. It felt like the second half score was about 50-10. The Cavs are even worse in person.

    You are right on about Hickson. Tonight wasn’t an isolated incident; he plays outside of himself far too ofter. At one point, my friend turned me and said, “He thinks he’s LeBron.”

    I thought I got a good shot of Chris and Byron embracing before tip-off (holding up tip-off, it seemed), but BlackBerry cameras are awful. Oh well.

    No more injuries, please?

    • I agree Kevin. Chris landed on his stomach but then he was on his back. Did he turn himself over? Or did they turn him over?

      I, too, expected the team to fall apart. I mean they’ve fallen apart when he walks off the floor after an injury and here tonight, he was carted off on a stretcher so I thought for sure that that would be terrible to their psyche and they would fall apart. I’m very pleased to see how they responded to this adversity tonight. I know it was the Cavs who while they have talent, they aren’t a very good team, and no team should be disrespected.

  6. Bulls got lucky again. 1st time we played them, Okafor was injured. Now they get to play us without CP3.

  7. None of us should be surprised to hear CP has a concussion is ruled out for tomorrows game against the Bulls.

    Chris Paul will not play Monday against the Chicago Bulls
    7 minutes ago via web

    #Hornets officials said tests at hospital revealed Chris Paul suffered a concussion
    9 minutes ago via web

  8. Bulls just played a down-to-the-wire game at Miami. You never know, they might not wake up til the third quarter. We might have a chance.

    But this won’t stop the D-Rose fanboys from proclaiming him the best pg in the world. “D ROZE WASN’T INJURED, F*CK YOU CHRIS PAUL” – fanboys

    • I’m from Chicago. Love the Bulls. Enjoy D Rose. However, CP3 is my favorite player and will be better than D Rose until the end of time. Mind you, for this season Rose is the MVP. He’s not someone you should let off the hook.

  9. Damn Cavs announcers kept saying our road trip was done in Cleveland. They actually led me to believe we were playing in NOLA tomorrow. Damn it. Tomorrow will be one hell of a test without Chris.

  10. Chris will be in Chicago with the team but he isn’t playing. Too bad because he was doing so good not missing games this season. I’m just glad the guy is ok.

    • yeah whats up with him? is he injured, cus usually he wont be on the roster if he is, but it just listed DNP for his stats.

      • He has a groin injury. He looked to be in uniform against the Grizzlies and I think tonight but he’s been injured.

  11. Good win but terrible news about CP3. Not a JJ fan but hopefully he can step up. Wonder is Demps is going to make a move for a FA or d league player to hold up for paul even maybe for a 10day contract

      • They said dude wanted to continue playing tonight but of course they’d keep him out as a precaution. It’s wise to make sure that concussion is alright tomorrow night too so they’ll keep him out. But I’m sure he’ll likely be ready for Wednesday.

  12. Carl Landry…

    CP3 rejoined the team at the arena after the game and will fly on the charter to Chicago but is out for Monday. #GodIsGood
    8 minutes ago via Echofon

  13. CP tweets…

    “Thanks for all the prayers and support! All the test came back negative. Glad the fellas pulled out the Win! I’ll be back in action ASAP!!!”

  14. I think he’ll play, he’s a soldier, but also it doesn’t matter, we want him healthy for the rest of the season, it’s good to know that all the tests are negative and he’s healthy…

    Great win, DWest <3…

  15. I’m pretty sure CP will be ok to play in the Dallas game. He’s scheduled to ride a float in NOLA on Tuesday so unless something happens to him on that float (knock on wood), he’ll be ready for Wednesday. It was a mild concussion. He didn’t lose his awareness or feeling of limbs at any time. He’ll be fine.

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