Wait no longer, ladies and gentlemen. The greatest time of year will begin tonight in the Quicken Loans Arena for our beloved Cavaliers. Armed with a new head coach and a chip on their shoulder, the Wine & Gold warriors will hit the floor against the Boston Celtics – the same team that knocked the Cavs out of the playoffs last season (and the same team that extinguished the Heat last night) – and will turn the page to a new chapter in Cleveland sports.
No longer do we care about the happenings with our former squire. We need to focus our attention on the team that will compete for our city night in and night out this season. With that being said, the name LeBron James will not be mentioned again on this site unless it is in the context of a match-up between the Miami Heat and the Cleveland Cavaliers. I’m not even going to mention that, one game into the NBA season, the Heat are 0-1. (Okay, I’m seriously done this time)
It does us no good to concern ourselves with those who don’t care about the great city of Cleveland and the incredible fans that come along with it. This is our time! It is our time to prove to the world that our fate doesn’t rest in the hands of any one individual. Together, we are one. We are Cleveland, Ohio. And, together, we will take on the Boston Celtics in our arena tonight.
Last season, I spent my pregame write-ups talking about individual match-ups. I broke the game down player by player; position by position. But maybe a similar mindset – individual over team — drove our franchise right out of the playoffs last season.
However, it is no secret that this team isn’t the most talented group of individuals in the league. But it isn’t individuality that will lift Cleveland to a 1-0 mark to begin their season. Basketball is a team sport even though, over the last seven years, it hasn’t seemed as such.
Byron Scott has his team ready to roll. And they are even more amped up about this season than we are. With Scott, this team may match up with the aging Celtics even better than Mike Brown’s team did a season ago.
Against one of the best half court defenses in the NBA, Cleveland will need to get the basketball out in transition and force the Celtics to keep up. Scott’s Princeton-style, run-and-gun offense will define the Cavaliers this season. Much like the Phoenix Suns have done over the last several years, the Cavaliers have the potential to pour in points in bunches. The only difference is that Byron Scott is much keener on defense than D’Antoni and Gentry.
Expect a competitive match-up tonight. If Cleveland’s defensive – one of the biggest question marks I have for this season – can slow the Celtics offensive surge, don’t be surprised when the Cavaliers board the bus for Toronto with a one game winning streak under their belt.
And don’t write this team off so quickly, Cavs fans. Let the experts predict a dismal season. But believe in Coach Scott. Have faith in JJ Hickson. And Mo Williams. And Anthony Parker. And the rest of our Cavaliers.
We will compete together. And, together, we will start tonight!