What Losing the First Game Means for the Season

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After the Cavaliers lost their first game 95-90 to the New York Knicks, many fans doubted all the hype surrounding the season. It was the long-awaited return of LeBron to Cleveland, and all the air was sucked out of our lungs when that final buzzer rang and the L was in our column.

LeBron scored 17, a lot less than most of us had expected, and it took him a long time to get there. He was 5-for-15 shooting, with 8 turnovers. It was as if the team had yet to gel together.

Cavs Nation surely expected the opening game to be exciting, and, of course, a win. We had built a whole new team – bringing back LeBron and adding Kevin Love to join Kyrie.

Celebrities from all over even came to watch the show: Justin Bieber, Johnny Manziel, Usher. LeBron brought back his famous ‘chalk toss’. The crowd was electric, thrilled to have the King back and expecting to start the season off with a W.

But it didn’t happen.

Does this mean that this isn’t our season like we expected? No.

From little league to professionals, it takes some time to get a team to know exactly how to capitalize on their talents together. Pre-season practices and scrimmages are different from real games. You can run through plays and sets every day and have them memorized, with no defense or against the second string. As much as the defense tries, they are part of the same team and can only ‘play dumb’ so much. They know what is going to happen. An opponent’s defense can only be predicted so far.

Furthermore, teammates may know how one another plays in practice, but when it comes to a real game, anything may go. LeBron, Kyrie, and Love have only been on the same team for a few months now. The game against the Knicks was the first trial of how well the off-season really did in sewing this new team together. It almost felt as if LeBron was trying to earn his place on the team, not come in and try and take over, or step on anyone’s toes – which is strange, because it’s LeBron James. He’s on a new team with new teammates, with heaps of expectations to live up to. That can make even the biggest stars a little on edge.

Cleveland rebounded the next night, beating the Chicago Bulls 114-108 in overtime. LeBron came through with 36 points. This was the LeBron we were expecting.

Just because we lost the very first game of the season doesn’t mean a ring can no longer be in our future. As the season continues, the team will continue to come together, and we can be sure the excitement will grow along with it.

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