GameDay Preview: Cavs vs. Hornets

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Tristan Thompson
David Liam Kyle/NBAE/GettyImages

Game Summary

Cleveland (16-37) returns from the All-Star break to wrap up their seven-game homestand tonight against the New Orleans Hornets (19-35) for the first of two regular season matchups. Tipoff is at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Through the first six games (3-3) of this homestand, Cleveland is averaging 107.7 points on .481 shooting, including .390 from beyond the arc, 25.8 assists and just 12.0 turnovers.

The Hornets come into tonight's contest on the heels of a back-to-back as they fell to the Chicago Bulls, 96-87 last night in the Big Easy. New Orleans has a 10-19 record on the road this season.

Reserve, Ryan Anderson, leads the Hornets in scoring at 16.9 points per game while No. 1 pick, Anthony Davis, enters the game averaging 12.5 points and 7.5 rebounds in his rookie campaign.

Probable Starters/Injury Report* presented by Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland ClinicCavaliers: PG - Kyrie Irving, SG - Dion Waiters, SF - Alonzo Gee
PF - Tristan Thompson, C - Tyler Zeller

Hornets: PG - Greivis Vasquez, SG - Eric Gordon, SF - Al-Farouq Aminual
PF - Anthony Davis, C - Robin Lopez

Injuries: (Cavs) - Anderson Varejao, (Vastus Medialis Split/Surgery, Out)
(Hornets) - Eric Gordon, (Sprained Right Hand, Probable)

*Subject to change

Head-to-Head Matchup

The Cavaliers lead the all-time series against the Hornets, 42-38, posting a 29-11 mark in games played at home and a 13-27 record in games played in New Orleans/Charlotte. The Cavs are 8-3 in the last 11 matchups with New Orleans at Quicken Loans Arena.

In their only meeting last season, Tristan Thompson posted his second career double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds) and Kyrie Irving dished out a then career-high 11 assists.

Key to the Game/Key Matchups

Key to the Game

Offensive Production

As mentioned above, the Cavaliers' scoring average has increased over the recent homestand due in large part to their ball movement. Players have been unselfishly passing up good shots for better shots and have been taking care of the basketball in the process.

The Cavs rank 7th in the NBA at taking care of the ball this season (14.4). The Cavaliers have tied or had fewer turnovers than their opponents in 23 of their last 27 contests.

The Wine and Gold will give themselves a great chance to win if they can continue their impressive play at the offensive end as the Hornets are a mere 2-23 when their opponent scores 100 or more points.

Key Matchup

Byron Scott vs. Monty Williams

Both head coaches have challenges presented to them coming into tonight's game with two of the youngest teams in the NBA.

Coach Scott has to get the Wine and Gold refocused for their first game back from the All-Star break. Additionally, tonight's game will be the first nationally televised game for most of the young Cavaliers. With that, may come distractions including a later start time than usual which could throw off their normal routines for home games.

Monty Williams will be faced with the task of not only getting his youngsters ready for the national exposure, but also mentally preparing them for the second game of a back-to-back fresh off the recent break.

Whichever coach can have his team focused and ready will give his squad the advantage in tonight's ballgame.

Where to Catch the Action

TV: FSOhio HD, ESPN, NBA League Pass
Radio: WTAM 1100, XM & Sirius 85, NBA League Pass Audio

Programming Notes:

Cavs vs. Hornets – 8:00 p.m. | Cavaliers Live pregame show at 7:30 p.m.

• Cleveland, Columbus, Youngstown/Erie, Wheeling/Steubenville, Toledo
- Main FOX Sports Ohio cable channel
- DirecTV: FSOhio
- Dish: FSOhio
- AT&T: FSOhio

• Cincinnati, Dayton
- The game is being made available to providers to air on the alternate FOX Sports Ohio cable channels. Alternate channel information can be found here: http://www.foxsportsohio.com/pages/channelfinder
- The Cavs game will also be joined in progress at the conclusion of the Xavier game on the Main FOX Sports Ohio channel.
- DirecTV: FSOhio
- Dish: FSOhio
- AT&T: FSOhio

Promotions/Giveaways

  • Theme: Lake Erie Monsters Night