Cavaliers home record last season: 39-2
Cavaliers home record this season: 0-1
Today was all bad news or business news. Big Baby, staring ahead at a promising season, broke a bone in his hand during a stupid fight over something stupid his (probably drunk) friend said about his girlfriend. The rest of the C’s news concerned the unpleasant financial reality that may hover Rajon Rondo all season long, even if it is very unlikely he signs anywhere else.
But then the C’s put on those bright white uniforms, laced up the shoes and took it to the Cavs in Cleveland, and everything feels better. Doesn’t it? It won’t feel like this all season long. We’ll have losing streaks and nagging injuries, Rondo’s jumper will be inconsistent, Tony Allen will be infuriating and Paul Pierce and Ray Allen will play too many minutes (38 and 42 tonight, respectively, with a game looming tomorrow).
But right now? We’re 1-0. KG looked good. Good enough that the team ran the majority of their late-game offense in part through him, mostly via screen/rolls with Pierce on the left side of the floor. The play achieved devastating results—good looks for KG in the post, open foul-line jumpers for Pierce and a couple of good looks from deep for Sheed when his man drifted down to help on Truth.
Other quick thoughts before Brian Robb gives you his detailed recap:
• Perk is going to take that baseline J this year, apparently. He was 2-of-5 tonight, but one of those misses was halfway down and the shot generally looked smooth. He’s lighter and quicker, and yet his defense on Shaq was strong. His inside-out passes were crisp. Get ready for a nice year from Perk.
• There were spans of this game where Rondo was the best player on the floor. Period. He looked confident and completely in control with the ball. Ten assists to just two turnovers and a slew of big deflections, takeaways and offensive boards or near-offensive boards. Spectacular.
• Shaq was decent but far from dominant.
• Daniels and Sheed will fit well here. Sheed looks a bit slow moving around on defense, but he’ll (hopefully) work the kinks out as the season goes on. Daniels provides a slashing dimension the team just didn’t have on the second unit last season.
• Early in the game, David Thorpe said during our mega-ESPN chat that KG looked as if he were moving at about 70 percent of his peak agility. I thought KG looked better as the game went along.
That’s it for now. More from Brian later.
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