Playing on the tail end of a back-to-back tonight in Charlotte, the Cleveland Cavaliers may catch a bit of a break.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, the best defensive player for the Hornets (34-41), missed shootaround Wednesday morning with what Hornets coach Steve Clifford called a case of food poisoning.
If MKG cannot answer the bell, Charlotte would be forced to tangle with LeBron James without its best option to defend him.
Cleveland (44-30) was whipped by the Miami Heat, 98-79, on Tuesday night and flew into Charlotte after the game. The loss snapped a five-game winning steak for the Cavaliers.
Clifford said he has not decided who will replace Kidd-Gilchrist in the starting lineup for the Hornets tonight if he cannot play. The next guys in line to attempt to contain James would be Treveon Graham, Marvin Williams and rookie Dwayne Bacon.
Clifford watched the Cavaliers play the Heat on television Tuesday night and even though Cleveland was down 20 points at one point, he said he noticed James remained steadfast in his approach to the game.
“I’m just sitting there watching in my living room, and he thinks they’re still going to win,” Clifford said. “You just look at him, and in his mind, ‘I’m going to figure out a way that we’re going to win the game.’ That is his greatness, to me.”