The photo on top to go with this article ... it hurts. The Cleveland Cavaliers played in Boston against Kyrie Irving’s Celtics and largely failed to put up any real fight. Irving was in firm control of the game, and finished with 29 points on 15 shots, adding four assists and four rebounds. He only needed to play 27 minutes because the game didn’t stay competitive. His draft mate Tristan Thompson was probably the Cavs best player, finishing with 13 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and a block in his 26 minutes. But if Thompson is your best player that’s generally not going to be a great sign.
The Boston Celtics, 128. Your Cleveland Cavaliers, 95.
What will I remember most from this game? Irving pulling up from 30 feet to nail a three just for fun.
Whatever this was:
It’s not worth picking on Sexton, who was just trying not to get destroyed by Irving for most of the night. If he doesn’t want the pick and roll or screen he’s probably got to call another play or get something else going. 15 points on 18 shots isn’t good, obviously, and it was largely on midrange jump shots. As we’ve said in this space, that’s just likely not going to change this year.
The Cavs did make a run late in the first quarter and into the second quarter before the rout was on. The positive is that the team did attempt 35 free throws, and helped the team overcome attempting just 21 threes. Alec Burks looks like he might be a real player. The Cavs might want to start him if he’s better than Rodney Hood, who just doesn’t seem like he wants to be on the court or ... I don’t really know. You could honestly play him over Cedi Osman who seems a bit overwhelmed right now, too. As long as guys are getting minutes you’re doing okay. With Larry Nance and Tristan Thompson starting together, shooting has to come from somewhere.
Even in a game the Celtics dominated I’m not sure how great they looked. This was very much a game where Kyrie being so good made a huge impact. The Cavs were beat at the point guard position, and that’s what you had to expect. Sexton didn’t get help from anywhere else. Two other things worth noting: this was the team’s most lopsided loss of the season, and after a positive game defensively in Oklahoma City they were consistently beat in the halfcourt and transition.
The good news: there will be more games.