The Cleveland Cavaliers hosted the New York Knicks on Thursday night in the Cavs season opening game. The Knicks had already played Chicago the night before in their own season home opener, and that game was not an impressing night at the Madison Square Garden. In a 104-80 loss to Bulls, the Knicks were looking to win against the Cavaliers regardless if it was LeBron James’ homecoming debut or not. The Knicks were able to pull off a 95-90 win against the Cavs and managed to spoil LeBron James’ comeback night.
With this night being one of the most important nights in LeBron’s career, he did not seem to play up to par. LeBron only shot 1 for 9 in the first half. He finished with only 17 points and committed eight turnovers. He also had an embarrassing pass that was intended for Kyrie Irving but launched it too far for reach and shot it right to the first row. Kevin Love finished with 19 points and 14 rebounds. Kyrie Irving led the Cavs with 22 points and 7 assists.
The Knicks led the Cavs at halftime with score of 44-42. The Cavs crowd was not worried at the time, but many were probably questioning why LeBron had only two points on the board. The Cavs came into the second half and even led the Knicks by as much as 11 points, but the Knicks quickly did not want to have a repeat loss similar to the night before. They came back and led the Cavs by as much as seven points in the third quarter. Carmelo Anthony also scored a baseline jumper over LeBron James with 25.9 seconds remaining in the game to put the Knicks up by five points at 92-87. Melo scored 25 points and had six assists.
The Quicken Loans Arena had a sell-out crowd for LeBron’s homecoming and season opener. The crowd even included Spike Lee, Cleveland Browns’ players Johnny Manziel and Joe Harden, Justin Bieber and Usher. James was not only greeted by them, but by an arena full of championship-hungry fans who basically counted down the days until the home opening game since LeBron announced his return over the summer. LeBron started his return by facing his fans in his pregame powder tossing ritual. Nike even launched a new commercial prior to the start of the game starring LeBron, the Cavs and a large Cleveland crowd titled “Together” and focused on the team’s goal of bringing a championship to the city that has not had a professional championship since 1964.
The Knicks played Chicago Wednesday night and faced an embarrassing 104-80 loss. They traveled to Cleveland the next night and managed to beat LeBron James and the Cavaliers in his special homecoming debut. The Cavaliers will now travel to Chicago to face the Bulls on Friday night. LeBron James mentioned earlier in the preseason that he felt envious of the strong team chemistry that the Bulls have built over the years, but went on to beating them in the preseason. Can they manage to win against the Bulls despite being in Chicago, a city who is known for hating LeBron James? Either way, Chicago’s home opening game will be Derrick Rose’s homecoming debut, and it is only certain that LeBron James will be hungry to spoil his night also.
Commentary By Tricia Manalansan
Photo Courtesy Dan Fornal – Creativecommons License