People get excited when LeBron James and his team, the Cleveland Cavaliers in this case, lose. Add to that a rivalry game against the Chicago Bulls and the atmosphere of opening night and people are naturally overreacting.
It wasn’t just the loss, which is completely reasonable for a number of reasons. It was the fact that James had a chance to tie the game on the last shot but instead was blocked by Pau Gasol, leading to the usual chorus of ‘LeBron James is not clutch’ although that has been disproved a number of times.
The Cavaliers are playing without Iman Shumpert, who can fill a number of roles on the floor and Kyrie Irving, the team’s All-Star point guard. That means their bench consisted of Jared Cunningham, Matthew Dellavedova and James Jones as guards. Not exactly an impressive bunch. What’s worse is a key player coming off the bench, Tristan Thompson, hasn’t played in training camp or the preseason because of the problems getting a new deal worked out.
With all these problems, the Cavaliers still lost by just two points, in a one possession game, on the road, to the very good Chicago Bulls, a team that LeBron James teams over the years make a habit of losing to in the regular season before beating them up in the playoffs.
In short, one loss in an 82-game season hardly means anything. A loss under these circumstances to this rival makes it even less of a reason to start looking for problems when it’s way too soon.