5 takeaways from the first Lebron v Kyrie
The long-awaited opening of 2017-2018 NBA season has arrived, and most fans were glued to their seats for the real deal.
The tip-off between the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers was more than just a familiar matchup, as both teams fought toe-to-toe until the final buzzer. In the end, the Cavs managed to hold off Celtics, 102-99.
However, one thing that overshadowed those incredible moments was Gordon Hayward’s horrific injury that left the fans in shock, but either way these are the 5 things that we have learned in their renewed rivalry.
Brown and Tatum Might Break The NBA
With the departure of Boston’s 4 starters during the pre-season, it was expected that sophomore Jaylen Brown and rookie Jayson Tatum would fill those void at some point in this season. Although proven to be an effective wing duo during their stint in summer league, no one expected them to start against the formidable Cavs.
What is more astonishing is that these two delivered more than what they were expected. Brown scored career high 25 points while Tatum debuted with a double-double tallying 14 markers and 10 rebounds. It is certain that Brown and Tatum will live up to their potential especially with the chance that they are given under Brad Stevens.
Rose Still Has It
This might be a bit of a stretch, but seeing some flashes of D-Rose’s explosiveness on the court might be a good sign for the Cavs. True enough, his killer crossover with a left-handed finish against Kyrie Irving helped him re-introduced himself once again to relevance.
Despite only starting to fill IT’s absence, Rose’s debut was filled with promise in hopes of providing a huge lift that his team needs, and his 14-point performance was indeed a decent start to say the least.
Bad Blood Between Two Former Teammates
Expect a major drama turning up when facing your former teammates. No, we’re not talking about Kyrie Irving and Lebron James, although the Cavs’ fans showed some tough love against Irving.
Al Horford was slapped with a technical foul after taunting Cavs’ newly-acquired forward Jae Crowder in two possessions. Crowder went at it against Horford with a little bit of trash-talking and mind games. Of course, who could forget Jae Crowder’s epic grin at Al Horford after being called for a tech. Looks like there is no love lost between the two.
Kyrie a Vocal Leader?
Uncle Drew wanted to lead a team in the first place. He asked Cavs for a trade, and they gave him what he wanted immediately. Despite being criticized for his inability to carry the team without LBJ, Kyrie wanted out in a winning situation that benefitted his career.
Looks like he was able to prove his capability as a leader during his homecoming. Aside from his playmaking skills that saw him tallying 22 markers and 10 dishes, he also led his team in huddles mimicking his former leader, Lebron James. Although they failed to get the W, his leadership is something that everyone shouldn’t miss.
Hayward’s Injury Eclipsed All Storylines
Amidst the hype and drama that transpired during the pre-season, all of these were put on hold after Hayward suffered a grimacing injury that saw him screaming in pain and horror.
Hayward, who was fresh from a max deal with Boston, landed awkwardly after catching a lob pass from Irving in less than seven minutes of the opening period. Everyone in the arena, including players and caoches were left in a state of shock, but most player including Paul George and Shaun Livingaton, who suffered the same horrific injuries, expressed their all-out support towards to their colleague. Even Lebron James went straight to Celtics’ locker room to check on the 27-year-old All-Star forward.
It was simply an emotional roller-coaster for both teams that turned an exciting marquee matchup into a night of agony and devastation.