Boston Celtics 99-102 Cleveland Cavaliers: 5 talking points
Nothing like beginning the opening night of the NBA with four of the best teams in the league. With the Champions out West in the Bay Area, Game 1 on tip-off night was between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics.
Both these teams have been linked a lot over the last six months. They played each other in the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals, then the teams exchanged All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas in the summer via a trade and now both these championship contenders are tipping their season off by facing each other.
When the final buzzer rang at the end of 48 minutes, the reigning Eastern Conference Champions came out top despite a huge rally by the short-handed Celtics.
How is a championship contender short-handed in the first game you ask? The big game's five biggest takeaway will explain everything. Here they are:
#5 Gordon Hayward's horrific lower leg injury
Gordon Hayward was looking to start a new chapter in his career with the Celtics but tragedy struck just six minutes into his first game for the team. Landing awkwardly while attempting to finish an alley-oop, Hayward suffered a gruesome lower leg injury that made the players and everybody in the arena look away.
Here's an official current update on his health provided by the Celtics:
Missing an All-Star like Gordon Hayward is huge and Boston will now have to rely on a young bench to make up for the small forward's contribution. Hayward's most likely to be out for the season, which is a huge blow to the team's championship chances, so now it's up to head coach Brad Stevens and veteran Kyrie Irving to bring the team together and battle through the adversity.
Any lower leg injury, especially a fracture or a dislocation, is incredibly difficult to bounce back from. Just ask Shaun Livingston and Paul George. Although a timetable is not known, it is possible to get back from this injury and we only pray for Hayward's speedy recovery.