Went to the game with my 1st grade son and had a blast. We did the 20 game plan again from the upper level (212/F) and loved the seats. They are the first row up off the concourse so there is absolutely no one in front of us. Also only two seats on our side of the row, stairs up on one side and entrance to handicap seats on the other, so no one climbing over us to get in and out. Real nice and cozy. We had similar seats in 215 last year, where we had the only 3 seats in a row by the bar in the front of 215, only got two this year cause the wife is pregnant and wont make out too many times. Now to the game itself...
Biz- Obviously from the box score he had a decent game. I liked his energy and the rebounding. Still not as polished as most third year guys offensively, but glad we picked up the option on his fourth year. Saw him shooting the mid-range jumpers warming up after half time and mentally said, no way he gets that to go in a game. He proved me wrong a few minutes later and I was ecstatic. Double-double should be a regular occurrence for him just with cleaning the boards and getting easy put-backs, anything that resembles skillful offense is just a bonus in my book.
Kemba - Dude lived up to the Cardiac-Kemba nickname that still hasn't fully caught on. The block on Irving was amazing even though Kyrie ultimately got the best of him on that play. What you wont see in the highlight package was that after Kemba hit the go ahead three late in the 4th, Kyrie stole the ball for him at midcourt, before the crowd could even finish moaning Kemba stole the ball back. It ended in an empty possession for the Bobcats, but prevented a two on one fast break with Kemba as the only man back. I did think we waited too long to get him back in the game in the fourth and almost tried to start a "We want Kemba chant", but after seeing the wave only make it through three sections I figured I didn't have a chance.
MKG - Shot is ugly, but love the motor. Seems to be the the common sentiment for most of us here, but is still pretty damn accurate. I did like that he attacked the basket hard and played with aggression on both sides of the ball.
Henderson - Ehhh, got to the line which was good to see. went 2-10 from the field though which was not reassuring. Kinda waiting on him to play like he did at the end of last year, someone has to motivate him to always play like he is in a contract year...
McRoberts - I know most of you will disagree, but there were a couple moments when I missed Mully tonight. McRoberts passed on four or five wide open threes. Didn't even look to shoot, just got the ball outside the arc and looked like he was playing hot-potato. Dude is a career .496 from three, I'm not asking for a gunner, but if you are open at least let the thought of a shot cross your mind. I know he isn't the starter for the season, but he was for this game and I frown on the fact that our Starting PF did not tally a single point (although his assists almost make up for it).
Zeller - Love that he played well. 5 board and 9 points in what amounts to just over half the amount of minutes a starter would get is not a bad line at all. Had a dunk in light traffic on a fastbreak feed from Kemba that was pretty nice. The athleticism everyone talks about was on display as he got up and down the floor. Also saw a few glimpses of leadership qualities as he would yell instructions to set up the defense when we were getting back. I believe he ended with two jumpers and two dunks, which is just the right mix in my opinion. Shut down Bennett which was nice to see, and got to do the same to his brother on a couple switches which I'm sure he enjoyed.
Taylor - Not a great outing but I am still high on this guy. I like his overall game just seemed almost like he lacked confidence tonight. Would love to see him more aggressive and use some of the athletic ability we only see every once in a while. Dude can get up but rarely chooses to challenge a big in the paint. The threeball wasn't there for him tonight either (0-4) and he has shown that he can knock them down when he is feeling good about his stroke.
Sessions - Seemed to play the Ben Gordon role for us tonight and be a spark off the bench. I am fine with him taking over that role for BG because he is much more consistent. We may not see one of those take-over-the-game performances Ben had a few times late in games last year, but we are also less likely to have him come in and play his own one man game.
Adrien - From where I was, he looked a lot leaner than last year. Between the slimming down and that hair I did not recognize him at first. Seemed to be able to play about a foot higher off the ground than I remember. I was impressed. Both of his blocks were highlights, but the second one sent the ball into the stands. Watching the replay it was boarderline goaltending, but it got the crowd on its feet.
Overall I was impressed with our boys tonight. Played with a lot of energy in front of the home crowd. There was a pretty good crowd at the game. ESPN has it listed at 18,017, and the crowd actually came alive for the Cats a few times tonight. The biggest ovations came with the Zeller dunk in traffic, Adrien's blocks, and Kemba's triple that eventually sealed the game. There were quite a few Cavs fans in the house too - not nearly the amount I expect to see for Heat, Celtics, Knicks or even Nets now - but a lot more than I expected.
It was nice to see a W without "our best player" being in the lineup. I really hope that we can integrate Big Al seamlessly. I haven't watched him play enough to know his style yet, but hopefully it does not take anything away from what our young guys do. There is a lot of talk from HQ about having the right amount of youth and veteran leadership, but outside of Big Al and Sessions I want to see mostly youth, so we can hopefully keep a young core intact and move forward.