With the NBA schedule’s release there are lots of interesting Charlotte Hornets games that immediately catch your eye, like their national TV matchups against the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs. Then there are games that you kind of brush off. You know the ones, it’s a Tuesday night you’ve had a long day of work and the Hornets are taking on the Los Angeles Lakers in a late game that doesn’t tip off until 10:30 p.m.. With another long day of work tomorrow there is no way in hell you are going to stay up for that. In an 82-game season that spans from October to April there are always going to be games like that.
On New Year’s Eve, at 7 p.m., the Charlotte Hornets will be taking on the Cleveland Cavaliers at home. Yes, LeBron James is in town, and I know what some of you are thinking: ‘Oh, hey, look, a fun ol’ time with the defending champs taking on my favorite sports team.” Sure! That game sounds like a lot of fun here in August when we haven’t had basketball for a few months, but let me tell you — that is NOT a game you should be watching. Repeat after me. I will not watch the Hornets take on the Cavaliers on New Year’s Eve, because I have better things to do.
Look, I’m as big a basketball fan as anybody, but let’s face it. New Year’s Eve is the biggest party day of the entire year, and this game doesn’t tip off until 7 p.m.. If you’re lucky, it will be over by 9 and you can head out the door to your party. You’re a fashionably late kind of person anyway.
But what if the game goes to overtime?
“Well, Chris, then I got to watch a super exciting basketball game.”
WRONG. If you do this, you will be missing out on an opportunity to be the New Year’s kiss of that one person you’re sweet on at the office. Yeah, you know the one. The bosses say inter-office dating isn’t allowed, but forbidden love is always the sweetest.
For those worried about getting their sports fix, don’t worry. There’s plenty of college football bowl games on during the afternoon hours that you you can use. However, that’s not the real reason I am telling you to not watch this game. It goes far deeper than the parties, the other sports, and really New Year’s Eve in general.
This game is going to stink. The Cavs are a really good basketball team. The Hornets are a very good basketball team. There is going to be a mutual understanding from both sides that, once someone gets out to a big lead, taking that New Year’s Eve “L” will be acceptable so they can get showered up and hit the bars.
Think about poor J.R. Smith. He is going to have to run up and down a basketball court — on New Year’s Eve — when he’d much rather be out doing whatever he pleases in Uptown. I feel for that poor man. LeBron James? He’s known for enjoying the club scene, and his one-track mind is going to be on a crash course to just that. Kevin Love? Well, he’s gonna have to catch up on Game of Thrones so I’m not too worried about him.
This game is going to go one of two ways. Either the Hornets blow out the Cavs in a game they’re not even there for (J.R. Smith especially), or LeBron and company try to defeat the Hornets as fast as humanly possible.
Side note: As of writing this, Smith actually has yet to sign a new contract, and the possibility of him not re-signing with Cleveland to avoid playing on New Year’s Eve is probably somewhere around 50-50. Maybe 70-30; we’re not entirely sure. We have our best reporters looking into that right now.
“What Chris is saying is absolutely accurate. We are talking about a Cleveland Cavaliers team that barely cared during the regular season last year, and that was when they had a lot to prove. Next season comes with a whole lot less at stake, so expecting more than 60 percent effort on most nights seems unwise.
The other alternative would be that the Cavs we saw in their Eastern Conference playoff run, with still far-from-full effort but with an incredibly dangerous offense flaunting Channing Frye instead of Mozgov showing up they just blitzing the Hornets from 3-point range to trying and end the game as quickly as possible. Either way, it's not going to be fun for Hornets fans.
The only thing Cavs fans have to watch for in the regular season is the development of young players like Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson. That’s fun, but not something I expect fans from other teams to care about. So with two not-great options when it comes to the outcome of the New Year’s Eve game, I strongly recommend you go out and enjoy yourself... after reading all of the great content on your favorite SB Nation blogs. “
Let’s say Smith does re-sign with Cleveland and is in Charlotte on New Year’s Eve. Are you, the fan, really going to pass up on a chance to PEOPLE WATCH J.R. Smith on New Year’s Eve in Uptown?
You would have to be insane to pass up on this.
Did you see the videos of him in Vegas?
Did you see them?
If you didn’t see them here they are.
J.R. Smith, ladies and gentlemen. pic.twitter.com/VILj1X5e35— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) June 20, 2016
Beautiful. Oh, and a message to Mr. Smith: Don’t think you can hide from us. We know you’ll be there, and we can tell if you’re trying to hide from us in a shirt.