First impressions in opener versus Toronto Raptors

Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr. goes in for a dunk during the first half of Game 4 of the NBA Finals against the Warriors

Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr. goes in for a dunk during the first half of Game 4 of the NBA Finals against the Warriors

Jarrett Allen may have flown under the radar in his rookie season, but he's looking to make sure that won't be the case this time around.

According to Cleveland.com, "Nance and the Cleveland Cavaliers have agreed to a four-year contract extension, solidifying him as a franchise building block while the organization attempts to rebuild a championship roster in the post-LeBron era". A team that won 59 games just a season ago and added likely MVP candidate Kawhi Leonard in the offseason.

Nance averaged 8.9 points and 7.0 rebounds per game in his 27 appearances in the regular season for Cleveland, and they clearly see him as an important piece for the future.

It wasn't the prettiest of victories but it did get the season started on the right foot and the Raptors have known all along that it's going to be a time-consuming process to get up to full speed. In Love's first game as the lone star without LeBron James, he struggled. Cleveland's Love was a miserable 5-for-16 from the field ...

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Before the game, Sky Sports pundit Redknapp quizzed the Cavs power forward on where his love for football (soccer) came from and who was his favourite Premier League player. "It's not easy. You and I would like to have our names called tonight as starters".

Fellow veteran Tristan Thompson recently challenged other Eastern Conference teams to dethrone the Cavs.

It might have come with mixed reviews but at the end of the day, the Raptors added a proven top calibre player in the National Basketball Association which Masai Ujiri believed the team was missing. "Boston, Philly, they ain't got much to say". "That's the expectation of the experts". Whether that is directed at the opposing team or used as motivation to take control of the offense will depend on the night, but it's certain that Love needs to step up in a major way for a team that is in the midst of a transitional period. "We're going to have to go after every loose ball that we can, we're going to have to be the team that dives on the floor".

It's quite possible that if Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue didn't make the move to go small in the fourth quarter after Valanciunas was re-inserted, Ibaka would have played about 22 minutes to the Lithuanian's 25.

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