The new-look Cavaliers made a statement today, annihilating the Celtics in Boston in a nationally televised game. The problems that plagued the team all season appear to be vanquished with a younger, faster and more athletic lineup now in place around LeBron James.
All four newly acquired players made an impact with Jordan Clarkson scoring 17 points, Rodney Hood adding 15 with three 3-pointers, George Hill posting 12 points and Larry Nance Jr. contributing five points and four rebounds.
The ball was moving, there were no signs of in-fighting on the court and the issues with defense appear to have been resolved. Most importantly, James looked happy and energized by his new crop of teammates.
“They were phenomenal,” coach Tyronn Lue told Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. “They played hard and they competed, and it was just good to see the team smiling again and having fun.”
Nobody in Cleveland was having much fun for the past month or so. Especially not Isaiah Thomas, Dwyane Wade or Derrick Rose, who were all sent packing in three separate deals just before Thursday’s trade deadline.
“Attention to detail was at an all-time high this season,” James said in a post-game interview on ABC. “We have players who can get their own and are pretty smart.”
It’s only one game, of course, but it’s a very impressive start for a group that hasn’t played together before and it may be enough to propel the Cavaliers to a fourth straight NBA Finals. But we want to get your opinion. Does this new collection of talent make Cleveland the favorites to win the East? Please leave your response in the comments section below.