Opening Night for the NBA ended up being a roller coaster of a night during the Celtics loss to the Cavaliers, 102-99.
The big story leading up to last nights game was Kyrie Irving leading the new and improved Boston Celtics into his former home arena, just weeks after being traded.
The storyline for the game changed just about 5 minutes into the game when Gordon Hayward went down with a gruesome fractured ankle. An injury that caused players, coaches, fans, and all of social media to instantly be in a frenzy at the sight of Gordon Hayward’s foot once he went down. I don’t want to go too in-depth on the specifics of it because of just how gruesome it was to watch, but for those who haven’t seen it, I recommend caution as it is not a sight for some eyes.
All right now lets get talking about the rest of the game…
After being down for most of the first have of the game, the Celtics were able to go on a strong run, overcoming an 18 point deficit to regain the lead with 2:04 left in the 3rd Quarter. However, the Cavs were able to take the lead back behind a strong 13 point 4th Quarter performance by LeBron James.
Kyrie came in to “The Q” for the first time as a member of the Boston Celtics. Kyrie, in 39 minutes of play, went 8-17 (4-9 from 3) scoring 22 points, 10 assists, and 4 rebounds.
Overall, a good debut for Kyrie. He was able to get a lot of scoring opportunities, show off his range shooting just south of 50% from 3, and we were able to watch him get the ball to his new teammates as he put up 10 assists. Although he wasn’t able to complete the comeback, missing a last second shot to tie the game, an overall strong game for Kyrie.
Jayson Tatum looked great in his NBA Debut. He ended the game with 14 points on 5 of 11 shooting, with 10 rebounds and 3 assists. He is the first Celtics rookie to reach a double-double in his NBA Debut since Larry Bird did it in 1979.
Losing Hayward will definitely affect the Celtics’ season. He was a big piece added to this roster in the offseason who was going to be at least the number 2 scoring option for this Celtics team, and the loss of Hayward could definitely hurt their chances. But rest assured, this Celtics team is not finished. Kyrie Irving showed glimpses of his ability to be a leader for this Boston team. Al Horford has been able to step up in the past and will continue to be a leader for this team. Jaylon Brown showed his offensive potential last night putting up 25 points, and Jayson Tatum showed his superstar potential early last night and from the looks of it, I think Tatum has a very bright future in the NBA. So yes, loosing Gordon Hayward for most, if not the entire, season could hurt the Celtics, BUT the Celtics have a strong team built with a powerhouse roster mixed with superstars, veterans, and young guys with high ceilings, this Celtics team will work out the kinks, become more united, and have a dominating season.
Next Game: Tonight vs Bucks, first home game of the season.