Hornets Pummeled by King James and Co.


Hornets Pummeled by King James and Co

129 – 90.

This was a bad game, needless to say. Charlotte was jumped early by a Cavaliers team with a new energy, led by LeBron James and his game high 25 points. James also had nine assists and six rebounds in only 27 minutes of action. James has now personally won his last 20 games against Charlotte.

The Hornets were led in scoring by Al Jefferson, although Michael Kidd-Gilchrist probably played the best, scoring 15 points to go along with seven rebounds and two assists. Still, the best of a terrible group of players giving lackluster effort is not saying much.

And lackluster is putting is mildly.

That was an ugly start

The Cavaliers came out of the gate strong, and helped by a few friendly whistles in the first quarter, they raced out to a 31-11 lead, and never looked back.

The Charlotte Hornets had problems on both ends of the floor early. Kemba Walker was playing hard, but by halftime he was shooting a ghastly 3-11 without visiting the free throw line a single time. Lance Stephenson played ten first half minutes and scored two points while committing three fouls. At least there was no ear blowing caught on camera.

Overall the team shot just 40% at the half, and 1-8 behind the line. The Hornets are not a good shooting team, but they are usually aggressive in getting to the free throw line, but they had a paltry nine free throw attempts.

Extended scrub minutes after halftime made the numbers look a little bit better, as the Hornets finished with 24 free throw attempts. Still, even the scrubs could not hit a shot, as Charlotte finished the game shooting just 40% from the field and a disastrous 2-16 from three point range.

They were outrebounded by the Cavs, 56-42, and watched Cleveland shoot 15-28 from beyond the arc, and over 51% overall as a team.

It was good offense meets bad defense tonight.

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Some bright spots

Al Jefferson was the lone offensive beacon, even if by the time he entered the game, it was just about over. Big Al scored 12 points on 6-8 shooting before halftime, with no turnovers and an assist. Although he was a team worst -24 in his twelve minutes of action.

He kept up the scoring in the second half, finishing the game with 22 points on 10 of 16 shooting, and adding nine rebounds. He is clearly getting healthier and should be good to go for the stretch run.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist also played well given the circumstances. Eight points, six rebounds, two assists, a block, and a steal to go with zero fouls before halftime. If you can give out an MVP award out to a team that got blown out ten minutes into the game, then it would go to MKG, even if he faltered a little bit in the second half.

Not sure what else to think of as being a bright spot in this horrendous loss. By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, it was 103-63 and most people had long ago moved on to other things.

Is this even worth analyzing?

Games like this happen once or twice each year, and when they do, you have to just flush them down the drain and not think about. There is not much point in poring through tape when you were down 40 points for a majority of the game.

The only real question is who kept playing hard and who did not. The team seemed to be trying in the second half, but the Cavaliers were on the rampage tonight, and nothing short of championship level play was going to stop them.

Still, the lackluster effort most of the Hornets players started the game with was disappointing. After a big win against the Miami Heat in their last game, you hoped that the team would be energized and ready to go against a high profile squad like the Cavaliers.

Sadly, that was not the case, and now we can no longer say the Hornets are tied for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference. And after that horrendous display of basketball, no one outside of Charlotte is hoping to see the Hornets in the playoffs.

Next: Bismack Biyombo: Unlikely Hero