LeBron James HustlingThe visiting New Orleans Hornets come into this game, wearing throw back jerseys from their New Orleans Buccaneers days. They have a tough task ahead of them with the home Cleveland Cavaliers: give them their first loss at home this season (Cavs are the only team in the NBA still perfect at home). This is the Cavs 17th sellout this season at home, and they have been having their way with opponents at Quicken Loans Arena with an average margin of victory at 16.5 points per game. On top of having the second leading scoring in LeBron James, the Cavs are best in the NBA at opponents points per game, opponents field goal percentage, and are second in the NBA on the offensive side of the ball at field goal percentage. While the Hornets are still a powerful team in the Western Conference, behind their star point guard Chris Paul (who is number one in the NBA in assists and steals), they have been playing pretty lackadaisically this season compared to last.

Peja Stojakovic came out shooting for the Hornets, but was relatively quiet by the end of the game. LeBron was spreading the ball early, freeing upon open three pointers from Wally Szczerbiak and Aleksandar Pavlovic (who had his first start of the season). With tight defense, and making it rain threes, the Cavs started steam rolling a tired-looking Hornets squad. There was little life in the Hornets for the entire first half, with the only notable thing being Chris Paul getting his 2,500th assist in his NBA career (getting their second fastest in NBA history). It seemed like whenever the Hornets starters were on the floor, they were slow to walk up the floor, slow to help out defense, and did absolutely nothing on the offensive boards. LeBron was kept relatively in check for the first half, but still helped with rebounds and allowing their three point shooters to be open on the wings.

Going into the second half, the Cavaliers were up 51-36. The Hornets starters really looked like they didn't want to be playing, which is really strange for a team that usually plays with decent intensity. The game was never really close, as the only offense the Hornets got was out of David West and Chris Paul, but there was virtually no defense through most of the game. We only saw a little life out of the Hornets with about 5 minutes left in the third, when they finally decided to play some team defense. The Cavs started the fourth quarter a little flat on offense, and were really riding on LeBron's shoulders to keep them ahead. At 4 minutes left in the game was the first time in the second half that the Hornets got the game within a single digit deficit, but it was too little too late. One of the main things that allowed the Hornets to slowly creep back into the game was the three point shooting that seemed to sizzle out for the Cavs - they hit 9 in the first half, and only got their first one in the second half with 3:40 left in the game. The Cavs finish the Hornets off in an easy 92-78 victory, with only small signs of concern near the end of the third.

LeBron James once again proves why he is the most explosive player in the NBA. Even coming into the game with a cold, and falling hard on his right elbow in the third quarter, he still managed to soar (literally) above all of the Hornets. 14 of LeBron's 29 points came in the fourth quarter alone, which he has typically been missing due to the Cavs being up by so much that he's been able to rest at the end of games this season. It was really strange to see the Hornets playing with such little energy, especially since the Cavs were the team that played a game the day before. The last thing I will mention is that the more I see Anderson Varejao play, the more I like him. He's not a super talented player, but he plays with more heart than most NBA teams combined. His hustle play reminds me of players like Dennis Rodman and Kurt Rambis - the guy simply plays hard every second he's on the floor.