The Cavaliers made headlines before the NBA trade deadline last week, after trading 6 players to different teams.
The most notable move was starting point guard Isaiah Thomas to the Lakers. It was initially looked upon to be Kyrie Irving‘s replacement after the two swapped jerseys in a trade last offseason. The Cavs traded a lack of chemistry and age for youth and energy. The first game together was a test. They traveled to Boston to take on Irving and the Celtics.
In a hostile environment, Clevelands’s new acquisitions, along with the energy brought by LeBron James, revived the team. Jordan Clarkson stepped into his new uniform with the same role he had with his previous team: bringing energy and buckets as a sixth man. The former Laker scored 17 points in 23 minutes of play. Rodney Hood assumed his role as a complimentary scorer to Clarkson off the bench, and tallied 15 points in 19 minutes. Both guards were efficient and James found them for open looks.
LeBron was seen hopping off the bench when his teammates made eye popping plays. He looked happy enthused, and seemed to believe in his team again. Because the trade occurred on Thursday afternoon, the Cavs, who defeated the Hawks in Atlanta on Friday, had limited practice time. But that is all they would need to take down the Celtics.
Prior to the trade, Cleveland lacked defensive pressure due to their age. They were the oldest team in the NBA at an average age of 31. The Cavaliers are currently on a 3 game winning streak and are 2-0 since the trade. With Thomas gone, the ball is back into the hands of one of the NBA’s best playmakers, LeBron James.
Rodney Hood, Jordan Clarkson and Jeff Green, who added 10 points off the shrine, will most likely lead the second unit. Clarkson is a 6 foot 5 guard who averaged 14.5 points for the Lakers. Hood is an efficient scorer, averaging 15 points, shooting 54 percent from the field and a whopping 50 percent from beyond the arc. Of course, it is too early to tell, especially with Kevin Love being out until April. Based off the Celtics win, LeBron is happy for the time being and that makes a world of difference. The Cavs will travel to OKC to play the Thunder on Tuesday, before the beginning of All-Star Weekend.