The first two games to kick off the NBA season have really lived up to the hype. There were two marquee matchups that deserved to begin this interesting NBA season. The Cleveland Cavaliers versus the Boston Celtics and the Houston Rockets versus the Golden State Warriors. After the craziest offseason of all time happened, here is how these games unfolded.
Boston Celtics vs. Cleveland Cavaliers: Remember that Kyrie Irving trade people were raving about? The blockbuster trade that shipped Kyrie Irving to Boston for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, a 2018 first round pick and a 2020 second round pick? Well, this was everyone’s first chance to see these new look teams. Also, this was our chance to see Kyrie Irving play in the “bonafide-superstar” role against his former team.
I have to tell you, this game absolutely lived up to the hype. From the opening tip-off, Boston dominated the floor, making shots, and playing great defense against the Cavaliers. However, with 6:45 left in the first quarter, a devastating and horrific plot twist happened. Gordon Hayward, a big-time acquisition in that crazy off-season, went up for an alley-oop and then dislocated his ankle and broke his tibia (lower leg). That might sound like a major injury and no big deal, but if you ever see the replay, it looks worse than it actually sounds. The reaction of Quicken Loans Arena went from cheering and amazement to a pin drop of silence. Watching it on the replay makes anyone sick to their stomach to see an injury like that. Gordon Hayward, we are praying for you.
Now back to the game. The Cavaliers regained momentum in the first half. Plays by LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose, and the rest of the Cavaliers made the score 54-38 in the favor of the Cavs at halftime. NBA analysts were saying that the Celtics season could possibly be over due to the injury to Gordon Hayward. The second half of that game showed otherwise. Players like Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, and Jaylen Brown helped the Celtics take the lead midway through the fourth quarter. The eventual game-winner came when LeBron James passed the ball to Kevin Love for a three to make it 102-98. After a split of free throws and a defensive stand, Jaylen Brown advanced the ball and missed the three (even though Marcus Smart was wide open).
It was Kyrie versus LeBron on the final shot, because Kyrie Irving grabbed the offensive rebound. With great defense from LeBron James, Kyrie Irving missed the game-tying three-point shot. The final score of this game was 102-99. The Cavaliers won a thrilling game that went down to the final seconds. LeBron James had 29 Points, 16 Rebounds, and 9 Assists. On the other side, Kyrie Irving had 22 points, 4 rebounds, and 10 assists. Besides the Hayward injury, the big storyline of this game is Jaylen Brown. ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith Says that “Jaylen Brown is coming.” Why wouldn’t you believe it? He had 25 points and 6 rebounds, talking advantage of his extra playing time. This game truly lived up to the hype.
Shawn Yeboah, a freshman, studies biomedical engineering. He is a staff writer for Le Provocateur.