The Cleveland Cavaliers travel down to New Orleans tonight to take on the Hornets for the final time before they become the Pelicans. Having lost seven straight games, that might have been the best reason I could give you to watch this game from the Cavaliers' perspective. However, late word is that KYRIE IRVING IS PLAYING AND STARTING!!!!!
Who? Cleveland Cavaliers (22-49) at New Orleans Hornets (25-48)
When? 6:00 PM Eastern
Where? New Orleans Arena -- New Orleans, LA
Where on my eyeballs? Fox Sports Ohio / NBA League Pass
Tickets? Cleveland Cavaliers tickets
The Maccabees - Pelican (Official Audio) (via TheMaccabees)
With the Byron Scott story coming out yesterday, there really hasn't been a whole lot of build-up to this game. I don't see Scott being fired at the end of the season, but I do think he is certainly on the hottest of seats coming into next season. Due to increased expectations for next season, he's going to need a good early start to the year. The defense hasn't improved, and that will be essential in finding out if he's the right guy for this team.
While the Cavaliers have been trending downward recently, the Hornets have been trending up. With wins in their last five games over the Nuggets, Grizzlies, and Celtics, New Orleans has taken itself out of the cellar and into the discussion of "who is the best young non-contender in the league?" Eric Gordon has returned and really helped create some offense for the Hornets (even though he's only shooting 40%). Greivis Vasquez will be a game-time decision, but he has been one of the most improved players in the league as a distributor. Finally, getting to see the two most recent number one overall picks play against each other is always pretty fun, and Anthony Davis has really improved where he was at the beginning of the year. Oh, and Ryan Anderson is one of my favorite players in the league.
With the news Kyrie has returned, I'm saying the Cavaliers rally around both he and Scott to pull off a win. Let's say 101-98 on a last-second Kyrie game-winner. Kyrie has 25, Tyler Zeller has his second consecutive double-double, and Alonzo Gee throws down a big dunk on a dish from Irving.