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Wham's Game Preview: Cavs @ Hornets

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Game Day Preview(31).png
Following their worst beating of the year and fourth worst of the Bickerstaff era at the hands of the undermanned Miami Heat, the Cavs limp home to take on the Charlotte Hornets on the second night of a back-to-back. The Hornets were off Sunday. This will be the first meeting of the season between these teams. They will play again on Wednesday in Charlotte.

The Hornets are 17-53 overall and 8-29 on the road. They have lost 11 of their last 13 games. Saturday they lost by 41 to Atlanta.

The Hornets will not have their leading scorer, LaMelo Ball, who is averaging 23.9 points and 8.0 assists in 22 games this season. Also on the injury list are Seth Curry, Cody Martin, and starting center Mark Williams. Their four injured players combine to average 43 points per game.

The Hornets are simply a pathetic team, ranking 29th in scoring and 20th in scoring defense. They're 27th in 2-point shooting percentage, 27th in 3-point percentage, and 28th in effective FG percentage. They're 25th in offensive rebound percentage and fast break points and 26th in assists per possession. Just an awful team offensively, especially with Ball out.

Defensively they're 29th in opponents effective field goal percentage but 20th in scoring defense because they force more turnovers than average, ranking 11th.

There's no reason why the Hornets should even be competitive with the Cavaliers in Cleveland except that the Cavs are playing very badly right now and are missing three key players in Mitchell, Strus, and Wade. In fact, the last I checked those were the Cavs' three highest ranked players in on/off.

After the debacle in Miami Bickerstaff said the team was physically and mentally exhausted. Well, now they get a post-game flight from Miami to Cleveland and a game the following night against the Hornets, so they will likely be even more exhausted. This one could go either way. The Cavs are exhausted, injury depleted, and playing like crap but the Hornets have no talent other than Miles Bridges who averages 21.3 points and 7.5 rebounds. Forward Brandon Miller, 6'7", averages 16.6 ppg. Guards Tre Mann and Vasilije Micic average 12 points each. Center Nick Richards, 7'0", averages 10 points and 8 boards.

The Cavs are catching the Hornets at a great time with Ball, Williams, Martin, and Curry out, but the Hornets are also catching the Cavs at a good time. Nobody in the NBA is going to be watching this one except die-hard Cavs and Hornets fans. The Cavs have lost 6 of 8 while the Hornets have lost 11 of 13. This could be like watching a turtle race.

Injury report

Dean Wade - OUT (knee)
Ty Jerome - OUT (ankle)
Max Strus - OUT (knee)
Donovan Mitchell - OUT (knee)

Bryce McGowens - QUESTIONABLE (knee)
LaMelo Ball - OUT (ankle)
Seth Curry - OUT (ankle)
Mark Williams - OUT (back)
JT Thor - QUESTIONABLE (shoulder)
Cody Martin - OUT (ankle)

Rubber Rim Job Podcast Video

Episode 3-15: "Cavs Survive and Advance"

Rubber Rim Job Podcast Spotify

Episode 3:15: Cavs Survive and Advance