New Orleans Hornets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers Betting Preview

NBA OddsAs the NBA season winds down, the games become more important as teams try to vie for playoff spots or seeding. This Tuesday we have an interesting matchup between two teams looking for different things. The Cleveland Cavaliers have dropped three straight for the first time this season and are trying to right the ship, while the New Orleans Hornets are trying to stay alive in the playoff race in the west without their star, Chris Paul.

New Orleans Hornets (30-26, 9th in Western Conference) @ Cleveland Cavaliers (43-14, 1st in Eastern Conference)

Sportsbook

Spread: Cavaliers -5.5

Over/Under 198

Money Line: Cavaliers -200, New Orleans + 150

Key Matchups

Bronze Medal: Can the Cavs adjust to Antawn Jamison and no Illgauskas

  • Since the trade to get Antawn Jamison at the deadline, the Cavs have dropped three straight. Jamison has only played in two of those games and was terrible in the first (0-12) and very good in the second (19 points 8 rebounds). Jamison will be a great fit for this Cavs team, however without Big Z on the team, the Cavs will need to find away to replace his presence. LeBron looked a little out of sorts in the fourth quarter against the Magic Sunday. He was only 1-5 and settled for jump shots. Perhaps not having Big Z spreading the floor and hitting deep 2’s has inhibited LeBron’s usual driving to the lane ways. The Cavs expect to get Illgauskas back after the 30 day period is up for players traded, but they may be inconsistent offensively until then.

    Advantage: Hornets

Silver Medal: How can the Hornets win without Chris Paul leading the way?

  • Chris Paul has been sidelined after having arthroscopic knee surgery a couple weeks ago. Replacing a player of Paul’s caliber is impossible to do, however the Hornets have had an impressive fill in with rookie G Darren Collison. Collison is averaging 24 points and 9.6 assists and 5.4 rebounds and a whopping 3.4 steals over his last five games. Those are Paul like numbers. His 5.8 turnovers a game however, are not. The Hornets have been staying afloat without Paul, but the team just doesn’t runs as smoothly without him. The Cavs have no one that can guard Chris Paul, and Collison will likely have a great game, but this is still a road game against the best team in the NBA with a rookie PG.
  • Advantage: Cavs

Gold Medal: How do the Hornets stop LeBron?

  • They don’t. It’s not going to happen. The Hornets are not setup to defend against a player with James’ size or speed. Then again no one is, but New Orleans will really be up against it. What the Hornets will need to do is play real tight on the other players on the Cavs. Peja Stojakovic has no chance of guarding LeBron and Marcus Thornton and James Posey will not fair much better. Expect a 30+ point triple double out of the likely MVP.
  • Advantage: Cavs

Online Sportsbook Review: Prediction

  • LeBron isn’t going to lose four in a row. I refuse to believe that is going to happen. The Hornets have an interesting team but have not been able to matchup with the better squads in the league. This game will be more of the same.
  • Final: Cavs 105 - Hornets 93. Take the Cavs and beware of the Total.

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