I didn’t watch the festivities and the actual game of LeBron’s homecoming live last night due to trick or treating. (Not sure who had more fun, our two year old daughter or my wife and I). I watched it later on DVR. Thank goodness for modern technology! Here are my thoughts.
The pregame musical performances were good. The TNT studio crew, solid as usual. The new Nike commercial that aired just before tip off was incredibly well done. As a native Clevelander, it gave me chills. I had to go back and watch it a few times. Awesome stuff. However, watching the on site “hosting” between Kevin Hart and Kristen Ludlow was painful to watch. Like rubbing a ghost pepper on an open wound painful. Unfunny. Like they were the new kids in school and trying too hard to fit in. It was a cross between a bad SNL skit that didn’t make the final airing and a cable access show so bad that it gets more hits on YouTube than actual viewers. Again, thank goodness for DVR technology for allowing me to fast forward through that awful TV. Enough of that. Now on to the game.
1. Believe it or not, LeBron is human (gasp). Last night provided an incredibly unique set of circumstances surrounding a game that we have ever seen, and perhaps never will again. As much as LeBron and Cavs fans were anticipating the moment last night, it was too big for even the best basketball player on the planet. He never got into a rhythm, in terms of shooting or distributing. For one game, he looked like just another NBA player. It happens. I’m not worried. Fans shouldn’t worry either. The Cavs start a road trip tonight in Chicago. Without the hometown distractions, I fully expect LBJ to have a monster game tonight.
2. Kevin Love is real deal. Nearly a double double in the first half. His energy and work ethic was great to see and will undoubtedly be embraced by the blue collar fans of Cleveland.
3. Kyrie Irving looked more comfortable when he was playing without LeBron on the floor. Remember, the Cavs Big Three only played together in one preseason game. One. Uno. Jedan. Chemistry takes time to develop, especially in basketball when multiple superstars are involved.
4. It seemed like any Cavs player outside the Big Three was afraid to put up a shot. I know those guys won’t win games by themselves, but their confidence and contributions will be vital to the Cavs success.
This team will improve exponentially as the season goes on. Let’s pump the brakes on the Cavs winning 70 games in the regular season. However, that doesn’t mean a deep playoff run shouldn’t be expected. Last night was only Game One of 82 (plus playoffs). Weeks, months, years from now last night’s atmosphere will be remembered, not the game’s final result (or even the opponent for that matter).
Be patient. Waiting 50 years for a championship-isn’t patience in our DNA as Cleveland sports fans? It’ll be alright. Let’s enjoy the ride.