The Cleveland Cavaliers are now 2-0 with their new and improved roster thanks to General Manager Koby Altman’s trade deadline deals. George Hill, Rodney Hood, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. have all played big roles in the first two games with the Cavaliers. Many things have changed and Cleveland is now looking like the beast of the East once again. Let’s take a look at the positive effects these trades have had on the Cavaliers in these first two games.
- The four new players combined for 49 points against Boston and 48 points against Oklahoma City.
- The Cavaliers made 16 three point shots in each game shooting a combined 48% (32/66). Hill, Hood and Clarkson combined to make 14 out of 29.
- Their defensive rating was ranked 15th the past two games compared to 29th pre-trade deadline.
- Defensively the team is defending the pick and roll better. They are closing on shooters and contesting jump shots.
- George Hill has fit in perfect into the starting lineup and is already developing good chemistry with Lebron James.
- Rodney Hood, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. are providing instant energy off the bench.
- Hood and Clarkson give the Cavaliers a big scoring punch off the bench. Both are averaging over 14 points per game through the first two games.
- Nance Jr. is a big time rebounder and showed his ability as a rim protector in blocking three shots versus the Thunder.
- The energy from the new additions has breathed new life into struggling veterans J.R. Smith and Tristan Thompson.
- Smith has regained his outside stroke hitting 9 out of his 13 three point attempts in the two games.
- The biggest and most important change is with Lebron James who is back to playing at an elite level and having fun again.
The criticism of head coach Tyronn Lue and owner Dan Gilbert have ended since the trades and resurgence. Both Gilbert and Koby Altman have shown their commitment to staying a championship caliber team and their commitment to keeping Lebron James in Cleveland. There will most certainly be some rough patches as the new additions continue to learn the team system and build chemistry with their new teammates. If the first two games are any indication the rough patches could prove to be minimal.