As NBA fans salivate over the season opener between the Cavaliers and Celtics, Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue realizes he has 81 other games on his team’s schedule.
"It's one game," Lue said Sunday (via ESPN.com). "I know both teams want to see each other, but at the end of the day, you don't win a championship by winning or losing the first game. So they're up for the game, they're ready for it, but that's not our main focus is playing Boston."
This rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference Championship (and likely preview of this season’s) is overflowing with storylines. Yes, the obvious draw is Kyrie Irving now in a Celtics uniform, but several other new pieces on both teams, including Gordon Hayward and Jae Crowder, offer plenty of additional intrigue.
Kevin Love isn’t quite ready to consider the Celtics a rival, but he did admit Boston is “right up there, if not the main competitor” with Cleveland in the conference.
A premiere piece that could be missing from the marquee game of opening night is LeBron James, who has played in just one of five preseason games after spraining his left ankle on the second day of camp. However, James has never missed an opener in his 15-year career and should be motivated to play in this one set for an 8 p.m. ET tip-off Tuesday.