Westbrook, Melo can't elevate Thunder previous Cavs

Golden State Warriors Cleveland Cavaliers

Andre Iguodala has always done an effective job of guarding Le Bron James

Back in December, he said he used National Basketball Association 2K to see how Thomas would fit into the lineup just before his return from hip surgery.

On top of being a billion years old as a team, LeBron James looked like he had one foot out the door, head coach (in name only) Ty Lue's courtside reactions to his woefully unbalanced roster's nightly performances had become a GIF-maker's dream, and Isaiah Thomas appeared to be a legitimate double agent prior to his trade out of The Land. "But the first two games I didn't think they would not be decent".

Last Thursday, the Cleveland Cavaliers were looking to hit the reset button on the season, and they did just that by trading multiple players for siginificantly younger players at key positions. On all accounts, it was a massive breath of fresh air for the veteran ball club. Rodney Hood added 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting, while Larry Nance Jr. provided five points, four rebounds, and three assists in 21 minutes. Cleveland, their fans and LeBron can all be happy once again. That doesn't mean the Cavs will be at all easy to defend, though. Even though LeBron is still the most ball-dominant player on the Cavaliers, the ball movement will be better from now on. And it also gave the roster more stability going forward. George Hill, who started at point guard, poured in 12 points and three rebounds. The Cavs were just better.

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That relates to defensive cohesion as well. But, for now, Cleveland looks, once again, like the best team in the East.

Against the C's, the Cavs forced turnovers in key times throughout the game, and that led to (mostly successful) breakaway dunks.

JR Smith hit six 3-pointers and added 18 points as the Cavaliers shot 44.4 percent (16 of 36) from 3-point range.

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Of course, it's only one game. James hit one, a fading, leaning, one-legged baseline jumper that was so filthy the Thunder had to play the rest of the game wearing hazmat suits. Both had missed the past two games. They couldn't be much worse before the trade deadline, especially in bringing in Nance. And [when] we [are] on the road, we want to try and play as well as we can, and we want to try to put ourselves in contention to try to compete for another championship, and that's my mindset. His defense on the interior was much better with the others pieces around him, though, and that can be sustained. He always has been a temperature gauge for Cleveland, and when he heats up, he can boil quickly.

Melo returned from injury and had his best scoring effort since January 20 - the last time OKC faced the Cavs.

How about these "new" @cavs? Nance grabbed a team-high nine rebounds, including eight on the offensive glass. This quote from Hill just about says it all, per Bleacher Report's Rob Goldberg.

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