Game #31 Preview: Hornets at Cavaliers

The Cavaliers stole one from the Pistons last night but don't have anytime to dwell on it as they turnaround and play the Hornets tonight. The Hornets are not good, now that they Chris Paul is gone, but it still won't be an easy game.

Song Of The Day: ATLiens - Outkast


Tonight's Overview:

New Orleans Hornets (7-25) at Cleveland Cavaliers (13-17)

Can you believe that this is the last game before the all-star break already? Damn. The first half of the season went really, really fast. Let's see if the Cavaliers can end it on a high note.

Everybody knows about the Chris Paul drama that happened in the very short span of time between the lockout and the beginning of the season. Paul was leaving New Orleans anyway, so they dealt him to the Clippers and got Eric Gordon as the main piece in that deal. Unfortunately, Gordon has been hurt for nearly the entire season and has led to the Hornets being among the worst teams in the NBA.

The Hornets are scoring the second fewest points per game in the NBA (just 88.1). Furthermore, this is the third night of a back-to-back-to-back for New Orleans. So as tired as the Cavaliers may be after last night's frantic game, the Hornets are going to be even more tired. Sounds like we're in for some really high quality basketball, huh?

Look for Antawn Jamison to continue his efficient scoring ways. He's filling up the scoring column recently and did it quite efficiently last night (32 points on 11-22 shooting). There's not much of a reason to believe that he can't keep that up if he continues to look for good shots and drain open jumpers.

I want to see Manny Harris play tonight. Against a bad opponent, and a tired one at that, Byron Scott should give allow Daniel Gibson to play some reduced minutes. Boobie is coming off of an ankle injury anyway and we might as well see what Manny can do, right? I vote that we let HARRISTERIA commence.

I'm not really sure what else there is to say about tonight's game. The Cavs should win, but as we know, there are no guarantees. Semih Erden will likely start, but had a rough night after receiving four stitches in Tuesday's win. Kyrie Irving played 39 minutes last night, including almost (if not all of) the entire fourth quarter. There's not much reason to rest him because he'll get a nice break with the all-star weekend coming up, but don't be shocked if Byron Scott plays Ramon Sessions for just as many minutes as Kyrie.

There's no reason for Tristan Thompson to play the same number of minutes as Ryan Hollins. Here's why: Ryan Hollins is terrible, Tristan Thompson is not. Hollins is slightly taller and can play center, but can he really play center? He ruins everything. That's my expert analysis of Hollins' game -- he ruins everything.

Key Matchup:

Alonzo Gee vs. Trevor Ariza

I see a ton of similarities between Ariza and Gee. Both are super athletic, versatile wing players and have a knack for getting steals. Both are plus defenders and have had some highlight reel dunks. I really like Gee's potential and the run that Ariza made with the Lakers may be a good indicator of what we can expect from Gee. Now, obviously Ariza was a really nice role player on a contending team, but Gee has that same ability. I think Gee can be a very valuable piece going forward and the battle between he and Ariza tonight should be a good one.

Fear The Sword's Fearless Prediction:

Did I mention that the Hornets are tired? Three games in a row and they played overtime last night? Come on. This should be an easy win going into the all star break. Cavs roll the Hornets 100-85.

Also, feel free to email me with questions, suggestions, comments, or if you just wanna discuss Cavaliersbasketball at ConradFTS@gmail.com.

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