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Celtics Lose Much More than Their Season Opener

Celtics Lose Much More than Their Season Opener

Yes, the Celtics lost 102-99 to the Cleveland Cavaliers last night in Kyrie’s return to Cleveland, but that is not what everyone is talking about. Less than six minutes into his first game for the Celtics, Gordon Hayward suffered a devastating ankle injury. As he was going up for a lob pass from Kyrie Irving, Hayward made some contact with Jae Crowder and LeBron James, which made for an ugly scene. I’m not going to share any videos or pictures, but let’s just say the human leg is not supposed to do what Hayward’s did last night.

The mood of the game had shifted to an ominous one. The shots of the crowd and the players was surreal, and just the overall crowd noise was spooky. Hayward had to be taken out with a stretcher and was later diagnosed with a left ankle fracture. A scary few moments for sure, but there was still a game to be played, and the Celtics did better than what I expected from them.

Trailing by 16 points at halftime, it looked like the Cavs may have their way and cruise to an opening night win, but the Celtics showed plenty of fight for the final 24 minutes. Outscoring the Cavs by 15 in the third, it was all of the sudden a one possession game going into the final quarter. For about a seven minute stretch in the fourth it looked like the Celtics were about to pull away, but the Cavs eventually took over, finishing the game on a clutch 7-0 run. Kyrie Irving had the chance to tie the game in the closing seconds, but came up just short. 99-102.

Takeaways

Jaylen Brown had a great season debut. Led the team with 25 pts, shot 48% from the field, had 6 rebounds, 2 steals, and nearly put LeBron on a poster

His +/- wasn’t great at -5, but I wouldn’t take that into account while evaluating Brown’s performance last night.

Jayson Tatum made his first career start in his first NBA game, and he definitely had a case of the yips in the first half. I don’t think he made a single shot, but he settled down and put on a much better performance in the second half.

Tatum would eventually end the game with 14 points on 5/12 shooting while going three for three at the charity stripe. Also had 3 assists to go along with 10 rebounds, making for his first career double-double.

Kyrie Irving made his first start for the C’s in his old home, and he impressed right away. There’s going to be a whole new level of pressure put on his shoulders, but I think he has the support system he needs that will help him and allow him to play at his highest level.

 

The 25 year-old Point Guard led his team in assists with 10, and also tallied the highest number of minutes with 39. Like Tatum, Irving too collected his first double-double of the season, while also forcing three turnovers on the other side of the ball.

Like I said, Kyrie has to be the man now. He has good support in Horford, Brown, Smart, and Tatum, but he’s going to need to step up if he wants to take this team far.

That’s all I got for now. Not sure if this will be a regular thing but I’ll be watching the C’s as much as I can this season.

For more from Brendan click here.

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