The Cleveland Cavaliers are undefeated since blowing up their roster, and head coach Tyronn Lue is encouraged by what he’s seen.
On Tuesday night, the Cleveland Cavaliers traveled to Oklahoma City and left with a 120-112 victory on the shoulders of LeBron James, who finished with 37 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. It was a complete 180 from the 148-124 blowout Cleveland was on the other end of last month.
“They exceeded my expectations,” said head coach Tyronn Lue after the game to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.
As sensational as James was, it was his supporting cast who helped push the Cavaliers over the edge — all of the new guys, specifically.
Rodney Hood and Jordan Clarkson had 14 apiece to lead all of the bench scorers, and Clarkson added four assists and three rebounds. Larry Nance Jr., who was quiet in his debut against the Boston Celtics, finished with 13 points, nine rebounds and three blocks in just 25 minutes.
Lue went on to rave about the new group’s playmaking ability which allows them to do different things on the offensive end. He also touched on their youth and athleticism by highlighting how the Cavaliers can play much faster than they were previously.
“I thought that we’ve got guys that can shoot, dribble and pass, and they can make plays,” said Lue. “It’s changed our team, and we’re a lot faster. Now I think we’ve got a chance to switch a lot of things with our size and our length. We can switch stuff defensively. I thought it would be a process; it’s still going to be a process. But the first two games I didn’t think they would not be decent. But they exceeded my expectations.”
Tyronn Lue continued to gush over Koby Altman’s acquisitions: “I think we’ve got to get back to being the hunters and not the hunted. These young guys we have, able to shoot, drive or pass it, adds a different element to our team. They’re playing free, having fun.”
The sample size is minuscule, but there’s no denying that Clarkson, Nance, Hood and Hill have brought a different swagger to the Cleveland Cavaliers. In their first two games, Cleveland is averaging 120.5 points while shooting 52.3 percent from the field and 48.5 percent from three; those are third, second and first in the NBA, respectively.
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