Neither of these teams are particularly good right now, but if you want to start building a team with a chance to win the whole damn thing, you could do worse than Kyrie Irving or Anthony Davis. We don't know quite what the ceiling is for either player, or if there is one for either player, but it is going to be really fun finding out.
Who? Cleveland Cavaliers vs. New Orleans Hornets
When? 8:00 pm Eastern
Where? Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland Ohio
Where on my eyeballs? ESPN!!! or FOX SPORTS OHIO!!!
TIckets? Cleveland Cavaliers Tickets
Well, the All Star game came and went. For Cavaliers fans, it was really very awesome. Kyrie Irving showed the rest of America what we get to see regularly, and 3 of the 5 players who scored 20 points in the Rising Stars game wear the Wine & Gold. When these guys learn to play with each other, offense shouldn't be a problem. It is pretty fun. That being said, it is hard to know what to expect of the team tonight. They are on national tv, they are super young, they just spent the long weekend partying, and it had to have been both exhausting and exhilarating for Irving.
I think we will get the good Cavs though. They might press a little bit, and ultimately they are still learning to play together, but it wouldn't shock me to see a performance like they had against the Bobcats. The Hornets are not good, and they should be missing Eric Gordon, who is perpetually injured. A win should definitely be the result.
My favorite thing about this game, however, has nothing to do with ESPN or even the Cavaliers. Rookie Brian Roberts of the Hornets is a guy I went to high school with. A really, really nice guy who I would interview for the school paper for the basketball stories. He is a pretty good shooter, and a very good ballhandler. He isn't Kyrie or Chris Paul, but I really do think he is close to elite. I am hopelessly biased, though I have asked some Hornets bloggers and they feel pretty similarly. It is entirely possible he will play terrible, but if he shredded the Cavs, it wouldn't really bother me. Sorry, I'm not sorry.
Matchup to watch: Tristan Thompson vs. Anthony Davis. This could be a statement game for Tristan where he really gets name in the ring for Most Improved Player award. I would love to see him bully Davis a bit defensively, and use that baby hook to neutralize Davis' shot blocking skills. Regardless of what happens tonight, they will be two of the most athletic power forwards in the league for at least the next eight years, and should give each of their team's some pretty great defense. Both also just seem like great guys too.
Austin Rivers and Dion Waiters are two much-maligned rookie shooting guards. As basketball players, though, they aren't comparable. Waiters is having a tough rookie year with ups and downs that were largely expected. Rivers is having a cataclysmic season that might be one of the worst in the history of the NBA. Any serious basketball observer that would compare the two, or put the two in the same boat is messing around. That is all there is to it.
It would be cool if Alonzo Gee did something nice tonight. I actually didn't see the Nuggets game when he played well, and I am honestly wondering if it really happened. Anyways, enjoy the game tonight, and Go Brian Roberts err Cavs!