This was the matchup everyone was waiting to see, the new-look Celtics with their shiny new toys of Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward on the court against the new, yet still old, Cavaliers who reunited two soulmates in LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
Instead the Cavaliers' 102-99 win over the Celtics turned into a somber night as the entire NBA came together in support of an injured player.
Who was that injured player? If you don't already know by now that's what leads off our three takeaways.
1. Gordon Hayward suffers gruesome injury
Gordon Hayward signed a 4-year, $127 million deal to play with the Celtics this offseason. He was supposed to join forces with Kyrie Irving and rookie Jayson Tatum and lead a Boston charge that would remove the Cavaliers from their Eastern Conference throne.
Instead, Hayward got two points, one rebound and less than six minutes on the court. The 27-year-old forward suffered a gruesome injury in the first quarter and is out for a significant time with a fractured left ankle.
Here is video of the play. We warn you, it is graphic.
Thoughts & prayers with Gordon Hayward. This is heartbreaking. pic.twitter.com/mq633WzcR7— Chet Cannon (@Chet_Cannon) October 18, 2017
Jayson Tatum and second-year forward Jaylen Brown will now get the chance to step up in his absence.
2. Cavaliers, and fans, give Kyrie Irving less-than-welcoming return
Kyrie Irving was booed when he was introduced as a starter for the Celtics Tuesday, but what was even more surprising was what the Cavaliers' players did to their former teammate.
Irving hit the game-winning three-pointer in the Cavs' Game 7 win over the Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals, so Cleveland had planned on playing a video tribute for him. But the game started and there was no tribute. Why wasn't there a tribute? Because reportedly Cleveland's players didn't like the idea according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Cavs players were upset that there was a Kyrie video at all, per source @clevelanddotcom https://t.co/333qssHbyE— Joe Vardon (@joevardon) October 18, 2017
Irving went on to score 22 points on 8-of-17 shooting Tuesday night. He added 10 assists as well.
3. Marcus Smart picks up the slack
With the injury of Hayward in the first quarter many would have thought Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown would have been the ones to step up and pick up the slack. However, it was Marcus Smart off the bench that took control.
Smart repeatedly posted up every Cavalier not named LeBron James and helped the Celtics come back from down 12 points at the half to take the lead in the third quarter.
The Celtics outscored the Cavaliers 30-15 in the third quarter and Smart finished the game with 12 points and nine rebounds off the bench.
It wouldn't be a Cavaliers game without LeBron James delivering a highlight would it? Here he puts Marcus Smart in the spin-cycle.
LeBron James spins inside for the SLAM on @NBAonTNT! pic.twitter.com/BUjIyJ5vwR— NBA (@NBA) October 18, 2017