We have reached a point where we’re all surprised the Cavs didn’t lose by 40 to the Raptors

Cleveland Cavaliers Cedi Osman (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers Cedi Osman (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors got their revenge against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first game of the regular season (or at least kind of).

The night began well enough. The energy of the young Cleveland Cavaliers was palpable. They attacked the basket with reckless abandon, and used their rangy, positionless defenders to switch on picks effortlessly. Kawhi Leonard – still looking a little odd in his new Raptors (and not San Antonio Spurs) digs – was forced into some tough shots, and missed a lot of them.

The Raptors looked unsure of themselves, and seemed uncomfortable with the Cavs’ pace.

Cavs rookie point guard Collin Sexton looked like he might pop a blood vessel, and second-year man Cedi Osman seemed like he might be related to Kyle Korver after all.

After years of moving at a snail’s pace under LeBron’s leadership, the Cavaliers looked like a bunch of kids let out for recess.

Midway through the second quarter, however, something changed.

Suddenly the game shifted, and shot after shot for the Raptors began pouring in.

The Raptors finally realized that this young Cavs team, despite having potential, is not even close to them.

The Cavaliers without LeBron were as expected. The team seemed listless and out of sorts. They were sloppy, overly aggressive, and lacked a real creator.

Collin Sexton not recording a single assist in 17 minutes of play speaks volumes about the Cavs’ new direction.

Two bright spots for the Cavaliers were Cedi Osman and Jordan Clarkson, who combined for 32 points, and they appear to have worked on their games relentlessly this summer.

Osman was picking his spots, playing with a full head of steam, and looked a lot less like a professional high-fiver and a lot more like a NBA athlete.

Clarkson contributed with immediate offense and energy, and while occasionally resorting to his “I don’t know what I’m doing so I’m just gonna dribble the ball 30 times solution,” he seems to have worked on his shot selection and patience.

There were many things to rave about from this game, and many things to cringe about, but all in all we must keep in mind, this is a life post-LeBron. It is bleak, sad, and will leave you sorely disappointed.

Whenever a team goes from a lock for the NBA championship to watching random 23-year old international players develop it’s going to be an adjustment.

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