WEEKEND EXTRA RECAP YEAAAH: Cavs vs. Hornets

January 17th, 2009 by John Krolik

Overview:

Ridiculously short-handed and on a back-to-back coming off one of their worst games of the year, the Cavs “bounced back” by taking care of business against a New Orleans team that just didn’t look like they wanted to be there, never going into overdrive but controlling the entire game.

Cavs-Related Bullets:

-SASHWALLY DOMINATION!!!! FEED THE BEASTS! It’s about time overpaid white people caught a break.

Of all the players who have mysteriously played terribly for the Cavs, Sasha and Wally have to be the most puzzling, because they’re White Swingmen who can’t shoot.

When we made our finals run with Sasha as our shooting guard, he wasn’t a pure shooter, but he had a nice stroke, with seasons of 36%, 38%, and 40% from beyond the arc. Last year he just completely lost the rim and his 3-ball mark dropped a full 10%.

After last night’s 4-4 display from deep, Sasha moves up to a cold-blooded 42% on the year. Brother Redbush being out for the proverbial 4-6 is going to suck, but if Sasha can knock down threes, play the solid D he’s capable of, and stays in the (somehow working this season) offense and doesn’t try to do too much, he’ll be a passable starter.  And the gain of a guy who wasn’t in the rotation becoming a solid starter is enough to offset a lot of the damage D-West being out is going to do.

And HOLY CRAP, WALLY MAKING OPEN FREAKING THREES. That he’s been passable in the rotation while going through the worst shooting slump of his career is amazing-if he can knock down the shots he’s been counted to knock down his whole career, he’ll actually be good. He makes $14 million dollars. I love life.

Threes going in is a pretty good deodorant-SASHWALLY DOMINATION put the Hornets out of the game pretty early, and it’s not like they were doing anything new or amazing-those shots are always there and they usually take ‘em. Tonight, they went in, and that made it a lot easier for us to win.

-I guess LeBron had a cold tonight, and that makes sense, because he never quite UNLEASHED on the Hornets, but was finding open guys, putting drives together, and was even banging a healthy amount of mid-range Js. Although JVG continues to talk about LBJ’s defense like a dad talking about his kid’s job with GreenPeace, the intensity wasn’t there on that end of the floor-he clearly wasn’t interested in chasing Peja around from arc to arc, and he spent a lot of the time gambling for steals. Combine that with LBJ rebounding absolutely everything and he cruised his way to a 29/14/7 on 50% from the floor. Um, he’s really good.

-Mo did everything well except knock down his deep Js, going 0-6 from behind the line. The three-ball is a fickle mistress.

-Andy was a disaster area. I think he’s finally gotten burned out filling in for Z, because he just had no energy left to crash the basket or hunt down rebounds.

-JJ’s only got a few more games for the lightbulb to go off and prove he belongs in the rotation when Z gets back. ‘Cmon, JJ. I want to see you and your crazy lanky jumpy happy times every game this season.

Random Bullets:

-Wow, just a lackluster performance from the league’s second-best player (CP3) tonight. Only half of his season average with 6 assists, most of them unspectacular gives from a standstill position to shooters coming off curls, and he didn’t make a jumper outside of 16 feet, although I continue to love his mid-range game and how well he sets it up. Off night, little warrior.

-For my money, Peja’s still the best catch-and-shoot guy in the league. On a quick catch-and-shoot, you feel like it’s going in. When he’s really and truly left open, he’s absolutely automatic-he’s almost Wally-Z good from out there. (Banging head on table)

-Jesus, NO’s backcourt outside of CP3 is Cavs-level horrendous. Remember when our team literally couldn’t find a quality NBA guard? It’s nice to have those days behind us.

Byron Scott: WHEN YOUR ROTATION IS THAT THIN, THERE IS NO REASON NOT TO UNLEASH JULIAN WRIGHT. THE PEOPLE DEMAND JULIAN WRIGHT.

Add to the pile of players for whom a decent jumper is more harmful than not: David West, who has a nice weapon in his J but is way too talented to fall in love with it and finish 6-16. CP3′s wizardry should be able to yield more than an open 20-foot J for a big man.

-For a showcase of the two best players in the game, this was a really boring game.

-I’m with JVG: half-court sets are good, but if you have CP3 then you should at least TRY to push the break when it’s there. Although where the hell is JVG coming from preaching uptempo? Byron Scott hates fun and happiness.

Song of the Game:

“Another Way to Die,” by Jack White and Alicia Keys.  Two ridiculously talented and accomplished performers make platable but dissapointing product, result is nationally seen.

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