Hornets 96, Cavaliers 81: Chris Paul Injury Beclouds New Orleans Victory

People in Cleveland and across Louisiana were thoroughly concerned for Chris Paul's well-being

A giant thud, a stunned audience waits in anticipation, an advertisement break and then a visual image of a stretcher. These series of events had Hornets fans collectively holding their breath and bracing for the worst news possible, Chris Paul was down. It was as if your stomach sunks a thousand miles into the ground because we weren’t concerned for the Hornets, we were concerned for Chris Paul.

The news is good though, Chris Paul’s brother C.J. Paul tweeted this following today’s game:

Also it has become apparent that Chris sustained a concussion and is ruled out of the Chicago game to be played tomorrow. It’s a big blow for the short term, but we hope that CP can have the necessary time to recover fully.

As for the game itself the Hornets battled with Cleveland right up until midway through the third when David West rallied the troops to win this one for Chris. It was evident that they were significantly more motivated as role players picked up their intensity. In the end we hope that this win is backed up by another spirited performance against Chicago.

Let’s head over the jump…

Good Stuff

  • Even if he only played one half Chris Paul was having a decent game. He finished with 13 points on 10 shots and had 10 assists on 0 turnovers. It was good seeing him back in form even if it was only for one half.
  • David West is a terrific team leader. The Hornets must resign him if they are to have any chance of keeping Chris in town. Once CP went down D.W. pulled the players in, spoke to them, then asserted himself over the much weaker J.J. Hickson and Samardo Samuels. He finished with 23 points on an amazing 13 shots, 7 rebounds, an assist and a steal.
  • Willie Green and Jarrett Jack are working together nicely over the recent road trip. Both combined for 24 points on 19 shots, had 10 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 steals. I’ll take that from my backup guards every day of the week.
  • As for the starting two-guard Marco Belinelli he proved that he belongs in the rotation. He scored 18 points on 14 shots, had 5 rebounds, an assist and a blocked shot. If he can just keep shooting the ball like he has he’ll be very important come playoff time.

Bad Stuff

  • Emeka Okafor appears to be a little but out of shape, or rather he just isn’t 100 percent. He did some nice things on offense with his hook shots and post moves, but he continues to be inactive on the defensive glass. This inactivity is costing the Hornets, particularly against better opponents. Seven total rebounds from him won’t cut it in the long term so let’s hope he gets the memo to start rebounding.
  • Aaron Gray and Jason Smith gave the team 15 very useless minutes. I do like Gray’s value more than Smith’s but these guys are going to have to show something consistently if they want to remain in the rotation come playoff time.
  • Quincy Pondexter has showed little to no value in all of his starts this season. In his limited minutes he’s also shown little value. It’s disappointing because I always thought he’d have some nice value in this league as a great bench player, but it seems that maybe he just won’t figure it out. He’s a smart dude so maybe a summer to adapt and work on things and he might add some value for the organisation down the line.
  • The Chris Paul injury, “Duh!” *Charlie Sheen Style*

Other Observations

  • Even if it was a “joke” the Cavalier commentators really didn’t take this thing entirely serious (the injury that is) until the stretcher came out. And even after that they remarked that this was actually a good thing for the Hornets…Umm what?
  • Chris Paul sent a tweet out:

Next up is the Chicago Bulls tomorrow. They are just coming off a recent win against the Miami Heat and are now currently the second seed in the Eastern Conference. I’m not quite sure, with Chris Paul out, that the Hornets can pull this one out. As the guys at Hornets247.com suggested, sit this one out.

Final Word: Heart-wrenching

Oh and please, let’s get some discussion going on the site here, don’t be afraid we want to hear your opinions. What do you think of the Hornets chances for the rest of the season? A fifth, sixth, seventh or eighth seed for the team?

Topics: Chris Paul, Cleveland Cavaliers, David West, Emeka Okafor, Jarrett Jack, Marco Belinelli, New Orleans Hornets

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