George Hill, Hood, Clarkson, Nance contribute as new look Cavs rout Celtics 121-99

The new look Cleveland Cavs are looking…. new. As expected with five new players, but “new” doesn’t necessarily mean better. For the looks of this game, they’re both. Not to mention refreshed, re-energized, and happy.

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It’s not hard when you’re hitting shots, beating your opponent by almost 30 points. I’m sure the icing on that cake is you’re beating the number one team in the East that features a player that left your championship team over the summer.

Whatever the motivation, the overhauled Cavs looked great. George Hill brought his steady veteran skill set as the only new player to start for Cleveland; joining LeBron James, J.R. Smith, Cedi Osman and Tristan Thompson to open the game. Hill would end up scoring 12 points in his debut hitting two threes and providing smart defense on the Celtics’ backcourt.

Rodney Hood was aggressive off-the-bat and ended up with 15 points that came from three long-distance shots as well as attacking the rim. Jordan Clarkson did what he did as a bench player for the Lakers; provided dynamic scoring from all over the court and though Larry Nance Jr. isn’t known in the league as a scorer, he’s a solid pick-and-roll role player, a willing passer that isn’t a slack on the defensive end. Nance’s three assists were the second-most on the team to LeBron’s ten assists.

All in all, the new players combined to score 51 of the Cavs’ 121 points — that’s 42% of the team’s points. More importantly, the Cavs are younger and faster, looked renewed, joyful, and excited for one another. That’s a clear departure from the roster full of what was a disgruntled and jaded gathering of veterans from last week. Whether the Cavs can keep the momentum going is the question, but all the various contributions to a blowout win of the Eastern Confernce leaders is as good a start than anyone could have hoped.

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