We are only one game into the NBA Season and it is clear as day that as much as things will be different, some important things will stay the same. The Cleveland Cavaliers opened up the NBA season by hosting the upstart Boston Celtics. Boston was one of the most active NBA teams this past off-season with their acquisition of star Gordon Hayward while dealing star Isaiah Thomas — to Cleveland. While Thomas sat out this game with an injury, and Boston started Kyrie Irving whom they acquired from Cleveland, there were still high expectations for a competitive game — and those were exceeded. However, even with expectations being exceeded some shocking moments developed that’ll change the landscape of the NBA for the rest of the year.
The Cleveland Cavaliers took the court with an entirely new line up. The addition of Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade this off-season were perhaps this biggest impacts but it can’t be denied just how much Cleveland is coalescing behind the leadership of LeBron James. James, who has been under the microscope for so long, looked like an extension of his prime during the contest with Boston at Quicken Loans Arena. Perhaps the biggest shock on the court, however, was when Kyrie Irving took the floor in a Boston jersey. Irving had spent his career with Cleveland before making a sudden demand to be dealt from the Cavs. Irving’s departure was filled with drama but he still took the court, shook hands with LeBron, and was relatively well received throughout the game.
The most shocking moment of the contest, and perhaps one that will have far-reaching effects into the future, was when newcomer Gordon Hayward went down with an ugly broken ankle. Hayward had just signed a huge deal with Boston and his injury was as ugly as it was painful. Hayward had to be carted off and to the hospital immediately and his look of anguish told the entire story. Brad Stevens of the Boston Celtics said, “You hurt for him. It’s a tough, tough deal, but I guess that’s part of the risk of injury. I really feel for him.”
Despite the loss of Gordon Hayward Boston would still compete hard throughout the game. Kyrie Irving showed his scoring prowess as he posted 22 points and 10 dimes while 2nd year pro Jaylen Brown would post 25 points as well. Cleveland would still win on a Kevin Love dagger three with under a minute to go.