A loss is a loss, so it is hard to get too excited about the way the Cavs started the season. However, there were some encouraging signs that this could turn out to be a special season. Keep in mind Cavs fans, starting the season playing the defending champion Celtics on the road is no simple task...so take the loss in stride because it is a loooooooooooong season.
What is encouraging is that they took the Celtics down to the wire in their own building despite a somewhat off night from Lebron. And although the team had a short stint in the third period where their offense got bogged down....for the most part, the Cavs moved the ball well and had very good floor spacing - which was a major reason for some of their struggles last year. Moe Williams looks like he will be a very good compliment to Lebron and Big Z...stroking a couple open jumpers and having the ability to break down defenders with his ball-handling. The fact that he is able to handle the ball (as opposed to last years point guards Boobie Gibson and Eric Snow) will enable the Cavs to drop Lebron down in the post on occasion where his size and speed create a tough matchup for any team. That is something the Cavs did very little of last year and looks to be an added component of their half-court offense this year. This will be especially important come playoff time when games slow to a snails pace.
The other noticable difference to this team is the added depth. Right now, based upon matchups, they can play Pavlovic, Szczerbiak, Delonte West or Gibson at the 2-guard, and Williams, Gibson or West at the point. Wallace, Ilgauskas, Verejao, Hickson and Lorenzan Wright make a nice rotation at the 4-5 and when they go small, add Lebron to the list. Last years' mid-(late)season trades and holdouts gave the Cavs very little time to grow acclimated to one another. Having training camp together, along with the addition of Williams, will go a long way towards not only having a higher playoff seed (and potentially home court advantage), but may put put them over the top in the East.
The bottem line is Mike Browns' teams always play defense, so they will be in every game to the end. Lebron is usually there to save them in close games. But this team shows the ability to run away from some teams on some nights, which has not been the case in past years. I don't think they will get "trapped" by some lower echelon teams like they did last year, which led to a lower playoff seed and a more difficult road in the playoffs.
Its early....but I'm excited this year.