The Cavaliers open the 2010-2011 season Wednesday night at home against the Boston Celtics. Shaquille O’Neal will no doubt find his way from the visitor’s locker room to see some of his Cleveland friends, but the trip will be all business for the poetic big man. Delonte West will likely not make the trip as he will begin serving his suspension for the weapon’s related trouble he got into prior to last season.
The Celtics will come to town on the second half of a back-to-back. They play the Miami Heat on Tuesday.
The Cavaliers finished the preseason with a 6-2 mark. That record means absolutely nothing of course. The team has been trying to implement a new system, all while adjusting to a different roster. This year’s roster features 6 players that were not members of last year’s team. To make matters more difficult, they have played the majority of the preseason without starters Mo Williams and Andy Varejao. Antawn Jamison has also been limited in his on-court time.
The system that Coach Scott is implementing is completely different from what the team has run the last 5 years. This offense is based on movement, which as Cleveland fans know all too well, wasn’t a big part of what the Cavs have done recently. The ‘stand around and watch #23 do something’ play is missing from this playbook.
It may take fans a while to get used to what’s happening out on the court. From the new uniforms (way too much ketchup and mustard for my taste) to the new system, to a revamped roster fans may find themselves wondering who it is exactly on their screen. And the part that perhaps I dread most- hearing time and time again about how LeBron James isn’t here anymore.
I wonder how long it will take before Cleveland’s team is once again the Cavaliers instead of the not-LeBrons? From clever comic book style team previews and power rankings, to expert predictions and prognostications all the world can think of to describe this team is who they are not. Fortunately, local broadcasts should fairly exempt. No way that Fred McLeod does that to the franchise.