Let's get the bulk of it out right now - the Boston Celtics beat the Cavaliers at The Q tonight. That is a big deal in and of itself since the Celts hadn't won in Cleveland since 2004. Maybe it's because the Celtics felt at home in their white unis. Either way, they won the game.
The game started out big for the Cavs as they ran out to a 19-5 lead. The crowd was in full throat and the team seemed to be feeding off of it. Then Mike Brown went to his bench at the 5 minute mark of the 1st quarter and the team lost some momentum - it never really got it back.
I would love to blast Brown for this but I really can't. The Cavaliers have 3 games to play in the next 4 days and with an aging front court they need to try and give rest whenever they can. They may sound ridiculous after the first game, but the truth is this wasn't a playoff game, it wasn't the Eastern Conference Finals. It was 1 game, Game 1 of 82. Tonight the Celtics hit the shots and played better and they got the win.
They call Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce the 'Big 3'. Tonight, they were. Pierce had 23 points and 11 rebounds, Garnett 13 points and 10 rebounds while Allen chipped in 16 points. Combined they were 16-19 from the free throw line as well. Rasheed Wallace looked energized by his new digs as well, scoring 12 points(3-6 from deep).
The Celtics might be at their best, however, when Rajon Rondo is playing at a high level. Rondo does alot for the Celtics and when he is playing with a lot of energy the team seems to feed off of it. Rondo played that way tonight scoring 8 points to go along with 6 rebounds and 10 assists. A little bit of everything.
For the Cavaliers it was LeBron James scoring 38 points in 45 minutes - way too long if you ask me. Mo Williams added 12 while newcomers Anthony Parker and Shaquille O'Neal scored 10 a piece. For Cleveland it was their bench that forgot to show up. Daniel Gibson, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Jemario Moon scored a grand total of 10 points.
It was painfully obvious that the Cavs are playing a Guard short. That is an obvious statement since Delonte West is dealing with personal issues. I saw Delonte on the court before the game and he looked great....physically. Whether it is West, or the rumored Antonio Daniels, the Cavaliers need another ball handler - Boobie Gibson is still a liability with the ball in his hands - and to be honest the team could probably use both Daniels and West.
All that said, this is just one game. Of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that something was lost here at The Q during the Magic series. Three times against the Magic the Cavs had big leads only to see them evaporate. It happened again tonight. The feeling I had in the Q last season - when it seemed the Cavs couldn't lose - seems lost. Perhaps a visit from Charlotte on Halloween will get it back. Whatever the case, it feels great to have Cavaliers basketball back - rest assured its going to be a great season!