Once is a coincidence, twice is a trend. Thanks to another solid effort from the newly-assembled Cavs 2.0, the Cleveland Cavaliers on a roll into the All-Star break on a high note.
48 hours after steamrolling perhaps their biggest rival in the East in the form of the Boston Celtics by 21 points, the defending Eastern Conference champions exacted some much needed revenge against the Oklahoma City Thunder on their home court.
Three weeks after being humiliated on national television in surrendering 148 points in a 24-point blowout, 148-124, Cavs 2.0 returned the favor with a renewed athleticism, swagger and enthusiasm that was sorely lacking during the first meeting up in Cleveland.
Even to the most casual observer, you can tell that LeBron James seems more energetic and rejuvenated in playing alongside young guns such as Rodney Hood, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr.
One doesn’t need have a degree in psychology to see that James seems more engaged, focused–and not to sound like Sigman and Freud–but just having more fun.
I’m dropping 37 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in 40 mins, while shooting 14-of-23 from the field, the King looks ready to reclaim his NBA title throne back from the insolent Bay Area-based usurpers in the form of the rival Golden State Warriors.
Aside from James, the Cavs bench suddenly has a new sense of life in being injected with youthful athleticism as Clarkson and Hood both added 14 and Nance Jr. added 13 points and nine rebounds.
Perhaps the biggest beneficiary from the Cavs 2.0 reboot is J.R. Smith, who since the trade has been on fire in averaging 15 points over his last four games while shooting (59 percent) in going 16-of-27 from three point range.
Seemingly free to shoot at will, when Smith is on, Cleveland is almost impossible to beat.
With their revamped and younger and more athletic lineup and refocused vigor, the Cavaliers roll into the All-Star break on fire and now a real threat to all.