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The Season begins!

November 6, 2014 | by

Opening Day of the season



I remember the Opening Day game last year, against the Brooklyn Nets. The atmosphere, pace of the game and intensity were a lot higher than the preseason games. This year’s home opener vs the Knicks was something else. There was as big of a build up for a regular season game as could be. All preseason, actually even before training camp, people were asking me what it would be like on opening night.

There were more people downtown near the Arena than I had seen before. There was a concert featuring Imagine Dragons and Kendrick Lamar, held outside the Arena before the game. When I was driving to the Arena for the game, I rolled down the windows and could hear the Imagine Dragons belting out one of their hit songs, “On Top Of The World”.

An interesting thing that isn’t common in other sports, especially in Australia is that between 75 minutes and 45 minutes before each game, the media are allowed in the locker room to talk to players and ask questions. As you can imagine, it was crowded pre game (Most waiting to talk to one man in particular!)

Well the atmosphere was electric, it was as loud as I’ve heard “the Q” before a game. There was a lot going on. Obviously it was Lebron’s first official game back as a Cav, as well as Kevin Love’s first game in a Cleveland uniform. It was the first time the new scoreboard (nick named the “Humungotron”) had been used for a game. This thing is HUGE. I could try to describe it but I think putting a picture up will be the easiest way to show it’s size in comparison to the court.

The Knicks came out ready to go after coming off a loss the previous night to the Chicago Bulls. They established their flow and game style early in the contest. We didn’t get into a rhythm or play how we were playing during the preseason. We made a brief comeback late in the game but it was too late. Unfortunately we couldn’t get the win.    As Coach Blatt said after the game, the best news was that we had a game the next night and did not have to wait too long for another opportunity to get a win.

Chicago for Game #2

We travelled to Chicago after the Opening Game and played the following night. Chicago is known as the “Windy City” and now I know why! When I was trying to have my pregame nap, I could hear the hotel room walls creaking. We drove past the lake on the way to the game, there was some huge waves on Lake Michigan. It didn’t look like any waves I would like to be in.

It was Opening game for the Bulls at the United Center so it was another great atmosphere to play in. The Bulls are always a tough, physical team that are disciplined defensively. Compared to the first game we found a much better rhythm this game. We were five points down with 50 seconds to go but managed to take it to overtime. That is the thing about games in the NBA, with timeouts and being able to advance the ball to the front court, you can make comebacks late in games if you can execute down the stretch. Tristan Thompson was huge on the offensive boards, grabbing 12 of them, including a big one in overtime that he finished with a dunk. It was great to get our first win on the board for the season, hopefully there is a lot more to come.

It was great to catch up with fellow Aussie Boomer Cam Bairstow who is doing well with the Bulls. After the game I also got to catch up with my college teammate, Phil Benson.



Day Off + Ice Hockey

After every set of back to back games in the NBA, the following day is a day off. I like to do some sort of recovery on a day off, whether it be yoga, the hot/ cold tub, some form of foam rolling/stretching and/ or getting a massage. In the evening fellow Cavs Alex Kirk, Joey Harris and I went to a Lake Erie Monsters game (the local Ice Hockey team). They play in the same arena as the Cavs, at “The Q”. We got some great seats and sat in the first row. Ice Hockey is a fast paced game that is extremely physical. You could really feel the hits. We were really getting into the game, banging on the glass and barracking. We’ll definitely try to get back to some more games this year. As a spectator, the new scoreboard is unreal for instant replays, very impressive.


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