Community Shootaround: Cleveland Cavaliers

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.

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27 thoughts on “Community Shootaround: Cleveland Cavaliers

  1. acarneglia

    I think Toronto is the team to beat in the East. That bench is terrifying. Cleveland is number 2 in my mind now. I don’t like Boston’s depth at SG, SF, and PF compared to that of CLE and TOR.

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  2. Thronson5

    I think the Cavs can actually make a push for the Finals again now but the Celtics and Raptors are a real threat. Really can’t ask to see what happens when the playoffs start.

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  3. dust44

    Best roster put around LeBron yet. Shooting, Athleticism, Rebounding, Passing. It’s all there to compete for the crown. The one major issue that everyone who knows anything about bball sees and it’s a rim protector. Unless that’s gunna b Nance Jr. This team should b really scary once Love gets healthy

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    • moazetongue

      Agree. Right down to the rim protector thing. Oh. And they need to pick up a goon for the P.O. maybe Jones again.

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  4. Z-A

    Let’s see if there are more buyouts. I’m sure a Big will become available. Thing is, all these new guys know this is their only shot at a championship, it’s shut up and do as told. They played for the Kings, Lakers and Jazz, devoid of any real winning.

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  5. Thomas Swanson

    Toronto or Boston. LeBron to Houston. George Hill isn’t worth $20 million.

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    • moazetongue

      I’ll assume it’s Toronto the cavs will beat to get it the finals again. Houston doesn’t have enough money.

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  6. Connorsoxfan

    As a Celtics fan, that game hurt to watch, but watching how much fun Cleveland was having out there, especially LBJ after everything they went through earlier this year, it was refreshing. It looked like there was going to be a power vacuum in the east, and that doesn’t make for good playoff basketball. You need that scrappy, young, well-coached team to take on the big bad enemy, and being able to watch that storyline unfold again will be fun (albeit with 2 entirely different rosters if it’s Bos-Cle again).

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  7. x%sure

    Everything fresh, fast, flowing. Norms exceeded because IRL has not hit yet. James youthful.
    “Old hands” Korver and Jeff Green looked startled at it all! All played well, and Clarkson is better than I thought… that’s the best I’ve seen him anyway. Smith worked well with Osman!
    The team could be TOO young, considering the ages of coach & GM!
    Still have to get a big on a buyout. IDK whether they beat this team or that team, IDK why that’s such a thing. Whoever shows up, beat’em. Might be Houston.

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  8. Thomas Swanson

    Math: Current Cavs salary $103 million
    Guess: Rodney Hood $12 million, Ist pick from
    Brooklyn $5 million=$120 million.
    Luxury tax=$119 million
    LeBron $40 million
    Makes $160 million
    Repeater luxury tax=$123 million
    Gilbert has been paying $50 million. Will he go that high? TT & J.R. have to go. Hill too.

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    • LordBanana

      Man you are obsessed with Dan Gilbert’s tax situation

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      • Thomas Swanson

        I know you guys hate Gilbert. Pray for his 21 year old son. He is undergoing major brain surgery this week. Dan’s mind won’t be on basketball!

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      • Thomas Swanson

        Don’t forget, when he has to pay that money, it is coming out of your pocket. He has to raise ticket, concession prices, etc. to make up for it. In my youth you could go to a Pacer game, park, and get refreshments for $30. $1 million was considered a good salary. If you bitch about ticket prices. Blame LeBron, he wants no cap for max salaries. If he were an owner right now like he wants to be, he’d change his tune.

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  9. x%sure

    It was Paul Pierce day in Boston. Pierce used to take the acclaim James got personally, and work to outplay him… and often succeeded. But he is mortal and declined as humans do, while James seems to be able to repair himself on the fly. 15 years of flying around and he’s never shorted a season. Critics said he was old in 2014, returning, & can’t win a title here. They say he’s not good for a 5yr contract. He looked as young as anyone!
    Hit knees, took a break, movement intact.

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  10. Dodgethis

    Give the newbies a week or two of dealing with LeBron, or having to deal with his ego after a loss or two, and the Cavs will be right back in dysfunction city.

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      • Thomas Swanson

        Actually it’s the media’s fault. They were saying he could go pro after his sophomore year in high school.

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        • x%sure

          It helped though, that he was only the third option on his team soph. year.

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  11. suburbanwarren

    Lebron has his dream team now with the exception of a rim protector. Perhaps Noel of Dallas. Seems to be a good project for Kobe Altman to work on. Kobe is a smart cookie! This is the first team that could win a game without Lebron since returning to Cleveland that really matters! Give me your take!

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  12. yoyo137

    I have a feeling LeBron is gonna love Jordan Clarkson, he always seemed like he had bigger things planned and that he knew he wasn’t going to stay in LA forever. Nance and Hill are perfect fits in terms of size, athleticism, defense, IQ, and not being a distraction. And Hood can be the best player they picked up, I’m interested to see how they use him the rest of the season.

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  13. suburbanwarren

    I agree with you 1000 per cent. I am going on the Record saying that the Cav’s will win 2 to 3 titles before Lebron retire from the NBA starting in 2018!

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