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Cavaliers open pre-season with different state of mind

It all gets started today, unofficially at least.  The Cavaliers will open the 2008 NBA Pre-Season tonight at the Q against the Toronto Raptors(7PM, WTAM, No TV).  Like the Cavs, the Raptors revamped thier roster, bringing in Jermaine O'Neal, among others, in an effort to get Chris Bosh some help.

For the Cavs, the season kicks off with a renewed optimism and welcomed stability within the organization.  Last season, despite coming off the team's first trip to the NBA Finals, the Cavs were in a bit of dissarray.  Larry Hughes was unhappy, Sasha Pavlovic and Anderson Varejao were battling the front office over contract issues, and Damon Jones was demanding a trade.  This season, the Cavaliers took care of contract issues during the summer, getting Delonte West and Daniel Gibson signed, sealed and delivered well before Training Camp.  Instead of Hughes, the Cavs brought in Mo Williams to be the offensive side-kick of LeBron James, and the attitude difference has been uplifting and refreshing to say the least.

LeBron has never really discussed it publically, but it was obvious that the Hughes/James combination was like oil and water.  Williams has come in and from the start talked about being part of the team, being here to help LeBron, and knowing who "the man" in Cleveland is.  Hughes seemed to detest the fact that LeBron got all the attention, Williams appears as though he will embrace it.

The Cavaliers also will use tonight's game to get more familiar with Mike Brown's system, and each other.  While it may seem like this team has been together a long time, only 3 players - LeBron, Daniel Gibson and Zydrunas Ilgauskas - were with the Cavs at this time last season.  The "new" guys acquired in last years mega-trade in February, had to learn on the fly.  Having a fill training camp to learn  from each other should be a huge benefit for the Cavs. 

In the end, while th result tonight means little, I am just excited to see, or hear, the Wine and Gold back on the floor.  If you are going to the game, fell free to create a Fan-Post with your impressions of the game and what you saw.  We'd love to have your thoughts.