Game 3: Hive Live

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New Orleans 104 (3-0)
Cleveland 92 (1-2)

It wasn't an easy win, nor was it a very clean one, but the important thing to remember is that the Hornets walked away with a solid victory without the services of 2 of our best players. And that's nothing to sneeze at.

The night started with a fantastically overdone set of on-court introductions. Seriously, there was a brass band, dancers, and least 4 Mardis Gras Indians wandering around the court. Then George Shinn walked out on the court and gave a short thank you speech full of promises of an NBA championship. 

He then turned the mike over to a gold-medal-sporting Chris Paul. Paul attempted to thank the crowd for their support, but was outdone by a vigorous "MVP!" chant. My buddy and I were going to start a pool for which game would be the first of the season in which the MVP chant would return... but I seriously doubt anybody would've have picked pregame introductions on opening night. (My guess was going to be the Lakers game on November 12.)

On to the game. Paul put up another fantasy gem: 24 points, 15 assists, 3 rebounds, 1 steal and only one turnover. Granted, his slow start in the ball handling department (he had 5 TOs against Golden State in the season opener) has his assist/turnover ratio at 4/1 (down from last's years 4.6/1), but it's only game 3.

Mr. West put up 25 points to go with 4 rebounds and 2 assists, and even Rasual dropped 14 points as a starter. 

The real story for the Hornets was James Posey, who threw this line together: 15 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 steals, and 4 of 5 from beyond the arc. Holy. Crap. We officially have a sixth man. That may sound dumb, but after sitting through last season and praying that someone off the bench would provide some kind of relief (and no, Jannero "Malibu Forrest Fire" Pargo's occasional 20 point explosions were not sufficient). To have someone off the bench who can pull this off nightly... well, all I can say is daaaammmmmn, son.

Really though, the only important stats from the evening were the percentages: the Bee shot 54% from 3 point land and 86% from the charity stripe while Cleveland only managed 41% and 58% respectively.

*** 

Couple of random thoughts to close:
  • Tyson and Peja were both limping. The good news is that they walked up and over the introduction platform under their own power. 
  • Am I the only one who gets choked up every time I see CP3 flaunting his medal? Can't be, right?
  • LeBron "Global Icon" James had a weird stat line: 15 points, 13 assists, 7 rebounds, 3 steals. I can't decide if that's a good game for him. I guess the short answer would be "no" since they lost, but still.
  • Ilgauskas has to lead the league in travelling. Got called at least 3 times.
  • LeBron shhot 4 free-throws. That number was particularly impressive given the play on the court. When Rasual wasn't doing a supurb job of defending him, we were double-teaming him and forcing him to pass instead of shoot. Which accounts for all the assists. Advantage: Hornet's defense. 
  • There were at least a half dozen assists by Paul where I am convinced he used a combination of telepathy and echo location to make his passes. Because there's just no way he could have seen the play. There just isn't. Sitting in the stands, above the game, I couldn't even see it. He is in another stratosphere when it comes to passing.
  • At one point during the second half, Global Icon was called for an offensive foul. He pleaded his case with the refs for a moment but then, as everyone moved to the other half of the court, he stopped and watched the jumbotron to see the replay. Why don't other players do this?
  • I can't decide if Melvin Ely and his fro were ridiculous or awesome. I do know that when he matched up with Varajao, we registered like an 8.0 on the hilarity scale.
  • In the second half, the Hornets flashed a promotion on the jumbotron instructing fans to text and win a jersey. Right after the promotion, they showed Jeremy Shockey in the crowd. Except he didn't realize they were introducing him because he was vigorously texting away. The NBA... where even Jeremy Shockey plays to win.
Composed to: Massive Attack's Blue Lines
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