Cavaliers Take Game 1


One down, 15 to go. The Cleveland Cavaliers took their first step toward NBA immortality with their 113-100 win against the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of their first round match up of the Eastern Conference Playoffs.

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    Kyrie Irving propelled the Cavs with a 30-point performance in his playoff debut. Not bad for a first impression. When asked how he rises to the occasion, Irving told’s Joe Noga,  “You think about preparation and moments you mentally put yourself in. ”

    Uncle Drew scored in a variety of fashions; driving to the hoop and finishing over taller defenders, isolations and shooting beyond the arc (made his first five threes). Check out his shot chart to see his Baskin-Robbins-esque flavors of scoring styles.

    It was also the playoff debut for big man Kevin Love. Unlike Kyrie, K-Love’s debut didn’t start so well. He hit just two of  his first 11 shots in the first half for six points. It was apparent that Love was pressing. After the game he acknowledged his first half jitters, “Obviously coming into my first playoff game. I was anxious and there were nerves.”

    In the second half however, Love found his way, ending up with a double double of 19 points and 12 rebounds. Go ahead and throw in four assists along with two charges taken and you end you with a pretty solid debut. “From the second quarter on I was able to play my game.” Love said.

    Love’s teammates (in particular LeBron James) continued to try and keep him engaged on offense. Their willingness to keep K-Love involved in the offense made him more efficient (3-3 FG in the second half) and got him trips to the free-throw line (6 for 6 at the line in the second half).

    Even though the Cavs left The Quicken Loans Arena with a 13-point victory the margin isn’t quite indicative of how close the game was. Boston came out ablaze. The C’s led by four after the first period and they shot close to 50 percent for the entire game. Their movement at times was stellar. Star sixth man Isaiah Thomas was able to penetrate and dish to open shooters.

    Thomas was a part of Boston’s NBA best bench that scored 55 of the Celtics’ 100 points. Stretch 5 Kelly Olynyk started hot, scoring 10 of his 12 points in the first 12 minutes.

    Boston definitely has some things to build on going into game two. There could be a chance that Olynyk starts in place of Tyler Zeller (just as he did in the second half) and more dribble hand-off sets between he and Thomas.  Coach Brad Stevens has already garnered a reputation as a great X’s and O’s coach.

    Stevens’ squad played well on both sides of the ball but it was the supreme shot making ability of the Wine and Gold that made the difference. Truthfully all the Celtics can do is hope Kyrie and crew miss those shots Tuesday.

    It’s way easier said than done because not only do you have to stop Irving you have J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert,  James Jones and that LeBron guy (who chipped in with 20 points and seven assists) who can hit shots from anywhere on the court.

    Let’s see if the Cavaliers can keep the home momentum going as game two will be Tuesday at the Q.

    Next: Cleveland Cavaliers vs Boston Celtics: Series Preview