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I'm Not Happy Either, Don't Freak Out Though

October 28, 2009

The Cavs looked kinda poopy in dropping their third straight opener, this time at home to archrival (at least of the last two years) Celtics, 95-89. The Cavs looked like a team that needed more time to integrate its new pieces. Z looked like he needed to adjust to coming off the bench. Shaq needs to adjust to the Cavs offense and more importantly defensive rotations. The team missed Delonte. The Celtics had new guys too, Rasheed Wallace and Marquis Daniels, I know. Rasheed was knocking down threes though. Shooting like that made any adjustment period moot.

This Cleveland team is built for late April and beyond. A loss, even at home, to the Celtics in October is not something to freak out about. This is a Cleveland team that has advanced to at least the second round of the playoffs four years in a row, the longest current streak in the NBA. LeBron, Z, and Andy have been on all of those teams. Shaq has 4 rings. Boobie has been in on the last three playoff runs. Delonte has been on the last two and he is going to be back. He's too important and the issue isn't that Delonte is a problem guy, he has a legitimate disease just like cancer or epilepsy. He needs medical help, he doesn't need to be kicked to the curb. Mo played deep into the playoffs last year. Jamario and Parker are smart veterans. This loss isn't messing with the Cavs heads. Regardless of a win or a loss, a team like this was going to immediately begin focusing on Toronto after last night's final buzzer.

There were positive things to take away from last night.

Shaq's massive presence inside certainly didn't hamper LeBron's ability to make me say "he's not human" at least seventeen times last night. LeBron also had four blocks and incredibly looked like he improved on his help defense and chase down ability. Seriously, there is no way LeBron James is human if I am human. Maybe I am human, maybe LeBron is human, but there is no freaking way we are the same species. It's just, what he does, I see it, it's still unfathomable that he did it and I just freaking saw it happen.

That wasn't all that was good.

Z began to find his rhythm off the bench in the second half. Mo Williams also found a rhythm later. Shaq seemed to still have explosiveness. J.J. Hickson didn't have a very good game in limited minutes, but his back seemed fine as he jumped like he was spring loaded. This club also did a lot wrong and has a lot of room to improve, as Mike Brown suggested before the game. The thing is this teams has players with the talent and track record to believe there will be major strides made. Boston shot the lights out from three, while Cleveland struggled, and Boston build a huge third quarter lead, but the game was still within reach late into the fourth.

This team has a ways to go, but there's ample evidence they will get there. Delonte West and Leon Powe are going to be added to the crew you saw on the floor last night. Potentially Antonio Daniels too.

I really wanted to beat Boston last night. I was surprised how un-frustrated I was last night watch the Cavs let a big early lead slip away and fail to come back. I know this team is good. I'm not worried. Fans should do what I'm sure a team of professionals that have had plenty of regular season and a fair amount of postseason success in the past has done since the Boston game ended: Forget about Boston. Think about Toronto.

Jack Bacevice

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