2020 has been the year of “you just can’t believe it” and here we are, just a few short months later since the NBA bubble, with the return of the 2020-21 season. Sure seeing the Lakers lose on their ring ceremony night was cool, but more importantly, Cavs basketball has returned since the initial suspension of the NBA season back in the early COVID days.
I never know what to expect with this young squad, especially since the leaving of Lebron. And adding insult to injury, not playing a live game in close to 9 months, I was expecting a very rusting Cavs squad, but boy was I wrong. I don’t wanna make any assumptions based on one game, but this definitely looked like a team who could go roughly .500 after an egregious 19-63 2019 season.
The Cavs opened their season against an equally young and slightly more talented Charlotte Hornets team, where the Cavs would take a 65-44 halftime lead, with no Kevin Love or Kevin Porter Jr. Though the Hornets would come back and only lose by 7, it was definitely a win where everyone on the team contributed, a key factor when you don’t have a true superstar to do most of your scoring.
Speaking of a youthful team, it would be the dynamic guard duo consisting of Collin Sexton and Darius Garland who took over the game tonight, where Sexton would go 27, 2, and 5 and Garland 22, 6, and 6. Not to mention a good contribution from rookie Isacc Okoro with a solid 11, 3, and 5 for his debut.
Not only did the young bloods eat out there, but the vets got their time to shine as well. Big man Andre Drummond would put up a double-double going 14, 14, and 4, as well as Larry Nance Jr. being two assist shy of a triple-double going 13, 13, and 8. The board men were getting paid.
As mentioned, I was very impressed with this team in their first game back, against a talented Hornets team with a recently healthy Gordon Hayward (28, 4, and 7) and rising star LaMelo Ball (0, 1, and 3). I know it’s only the first game, but this team showed a lot of improvement and promise, especially without Love, Porter Jr., and a few other role players out with injuries. If the Cavs can continue to play team ball, where more than just 2-3 guys can get double figures, this team has potential to be a good team, who could (bold take…wait for it) even make the 8 seed or at least come close, come playoff time.