Cleveland was the most thirsty place on the planet last night. There’s a pain, but also a power to that. It makes you cheer for violence and other things you are normally against. You sit among the thugs, you are them. You are thinking unspeakable thoughts.
It’s as if a boat has landed full of us on a beachfront. We are exploding with glazed eyes and savage ideation. And the season begins.
TRISTAN THOMPSON SCORED WITH BOTH HANDS LAST NIGHT, AND HAD HIS WAY WITH BROOKLYN (Cavs.com David Liam Kyle NBAE via Getty Images)
It’s now the beginning of the fourth quarter, and everything is different than it was seven months ago. It’s jarring, disorienting. Mike Brown stands in front of the Cavaliers bench, directing traffic into patterns that have been worn over months in the summertime and into the preseason, shorn from his imagination. The defense, which was virtually non-existent over the last dozen games of the 12-13 season, is now very real. Players step up to prevent penetration. There is quick rotation and switching. There is no space in the middle of the court and the Nets have struggled for second chance points, relying heavily on outside shooting to keep themselves in the game.
There is a sense that the Nets have taken themselves for granted, a new superteam constructed without regard to the penalties of the new CBA. A team that will cost a massive amount in salary and penalties after absorbing both Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett this summer. Perhaps they thought it would be easier, or perhaps the mystery of the first game of the season, with it’s incompletely installed offensive systems and lack of player cohesion has this high powered team struggling. They are without their coach, Jason Kidd, who is serving a suspension for a DUI. They are filled with veterans, yet they lack a strong sense of direction.no comments