Paul Pierce: Duke Could Beat the Cavaliers This Season

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 8, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - NOVEMBER 06: Cam Reddish #2 of the Duke Blue Devils celebrates with RJ Barrett #5, Zion Williamson #1 and Marques Bolden #20 during the State Farm Champions Classic against the Kentucky Wildcats at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on November 6, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Duke defeated Kentucky 118-84. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Cleveland Cavaliers are 1-10 to start the season, and ESPN analyst Paul Pierce doesn't think they could beat some college teams. 

"Y'all see that Duke game last night?" Pierce asked (h/t Ben Axelrod of WKYC3). "They could beat Cleveland—you heard it here first."

The Blue Devils turned heads in their season opener Tuesday, blowing out the Kentucky Wildcats, 118-84.

Duke will certainly cause problems for a lot of teams at the college level this year thanks to the trio of Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett and Cameron Reddish. 

Bleacher Report's Jonathan Wasserman listed the players as his projected top three picks in the 2019 NBA draft.

However, they are all just 18 or 19 years old and it's a different story when you have to compete against grown men like Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson. Collin Sexton was one of the bigger stars in college basketball last season while averaging 19.2 points per game at Alabama but he has had a tough transition to the NBA.

The players on Duke certainly have tons of upside, but they likely aren't there yet. It would also be impossible to compete with the depth considering every person on the Cavaliers roster has already accomplished more than most college players ever will.

While it's unclear if Pierce was joking, it's still an indictment of Cleveland's struggles and quick fall over the past year.

The Cavs were in the NBA finals for the fourth straight year, but after losing LeBron James, they are arguably the worst team in the league. Even drawing a comparison to a college team isn't a great sign for the rest of the season.

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