New-look Cavs host Hornets
=== New-look Cavs host Hornets ===
(Sports Network) – LeBron James and the new-look Cleveland Cavaliers get
their 2005-06 campaign underway this evening when they welcome the New
Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets to Quicken Loans Arena.
It was a great offseason for Cleveland, which hired a new coach and general
manager, re-signed their All-Star center and added some impact players through
Danny Ferry, who spent 10 season with the Cavaliers as a player, was hired to
take over the club as general manager, while Mike Brown, who served as Indiana
head coach Rick Carlisle’s top assistant for the past two years, decided to
take on the challenge of his first head coaching job.
Ferry has provided Brown with a very talented roster to work with. James and
center Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who signed a multi-year deal to stay with the club,
are Cleveland’s two All-Stars, while Larry Hughes, Damon Jones and Donyell
Marshall were all unrestricted free agents that decided they wanted to sign
with the team and play with the all-world James. Twenty-four-year-old power
forward Drew Gooden, who was the subject of trade rumors during the summer, is
also in the fold and can help the team get to the next level.
Cleveland, which has not reached the postseason since 1998, was 29-12 in its
arena in 2004-05.
New Orleans/Oklahoma City, meanwhile, opened its season with a win on Tuesday,
as P.J. Brown scored 20 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead the Hornets
past the Sacramento Kings, 93-67, at the Ford Center.
Rookie Chris Paul, the fourth overall pick in the 2005 draft, had 13 points,
eight rebounds and four assists for the Hornets, while J.R. Smith had 19
points, Speedy Claxton scored 17 and David West put in eight points and pulled
down 11 rebounds.
The Hornets, who will be starting a two-game road trip tonight, were a dismal
7-34 away from home last season.
Cleveland won both matchups with New Orleans last season and could have the
advantage tonight, as the home team in this series has won seven of nine an 14
of the last 18 meetings. The Cavs have also won five straight with the Hornets
dropping four in a row and seven of nine in Cleveland.