Game 1 between the Cavs and Pacers was a close, maybe a bit too close for comfort. And it certainly do much to dissuade concerns about the Cavaliers after Cleveland struggled to end the regular season.
But according to point guard Kyrie Irving, the Cavs should not feel vulnerable.
“Hell no. No. Not going into any game with the group that we have,” Irving said Saturda during his post game press conference. “I understand that there are mistakes that happened throughout the game. The regular season didn’t end the way we wanted to. Like I said, it’s a step in the right direction. [Tonight] was Game 1 taking care of home floor and we just gotta come out in Game 2 with an even higher focus, even better level of intensity and limit out mistakes and we’ll be good.”
Like Irving, neither coach Tyronn Lue or LeBron James seemed particularly frustrated by the team’s 109-108 win. Like Irving, they acknowledged that things still need to get better, but that a win is a win.
“We found a way to pull the game out,” Lue said. “And we’ll be better.”
And while the Pacers played pretty well, the Cavs had some strong defensive moments in this game. Irving, in particular, was directly responsible for two pivotal stops in the fourth quarter while the game was on the line.
This is, too, a mostly the same group that won the title was year. And the team still has LeBron. So, while Game 1 wasn’t perfect, there was still a lot to like amidst the bad. Ad maybe most importantly, the Cavs are still confident in themselves.