It’s finally here! Opening night for the 2018 NBA Season. The first game will showcase the two top teams in the Eastern Conference, the Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
There are a few notable story lines in this game:
- Kyrie coming back to Cleveland for the first time as a Celtic.
- The first time Kyrie and Lebron see each other since the breakup.
- Kyrie in the past few weeks has thrown shade Cleveland’s way, notably saying “I’m really playing in a real, live sports city'”
- Dwyane Wade reuniting with Lebron
- Will Isaiah Thomas be at the game? How will he react to seeing Danny Ainge and the Boston Celtics
- Our real first chance to see how well the Celtics play together
As always, the game gets broken down to 3 area — who is the better coach, who has the better starters and who has the deeper & more reliable bench.
Coaching – Brad Stevens
If you don’t agree that Brad is the better coach in this match up, lets see what LeBron has to say.
“I highly respect their coaching staff and especially their head coach,” James said. “A very well-coached team, he puts those guys out there every night and puts them in position to win the game. I think Brad Stevens is a very good young coach in our league.”
Starters – Boston Celtics
The Celtics and Cavaliers have a pretty even lineup, but with D-Rose and Wade both being injury prone and older, I have to give the edge to the Celtics. It will be a great test defensively for Jaylen and Jayson if they get matched up against LeBron.
PG – Derrick Rose PG – Kyrie Irving
SG – Dwyane Wade SG – Jaylen Brown
SF – Lebron James SF – Gordon Hayward
PF – Jae Crowder PF – Jason Tatum
C – Kevin Love C – Al Horford
Bench – Cleveland Cavaliers
At this time, the Cavs clearly have the more veteran bench at every position. The Celtics are a very young team so I expect the Cavs to have their way against the Celtics rookies.
PG – Jose Calderon PG – Terry Rozier
SG – J.R. Smith SG – Marcus Smart
SF – Kyle Korver SF – Semi Ojeleye
PF – Channing Frye/Jeff Green PF – Guerschon Yabusele
C – Tristan Thompson C – Aron Baynes
Prediction – Boston Celtics 106-99
In the end, I believe the Celtics will complete the upset and beat the Cavs on opening night. I predict Kryie, Gordon and Al will combine for 80 points and the suspect Celtics bench will give them enough support to hold off a weakened LeBron and the Cavaliers.