Pregame Post-Ups: Celts Set to Face New-Look Cavs
Sunday, Feb. 11 - Cavaliers at Celtics
Pregame – Celts Set to Face New-Look Cavs
BOSTON – The Boston Celtics have played the Cleveland Cavaliers twice so far this season, but the version of the Cavs that they’ll see Sunday afternoon will be nearly unrecognizable compared to the previous version.
Cleveland overhauled its roster at the trade deadline, sending six of its players out of town while bringing in four new faces. The new players – Jordan Clarkson, George Hill, Rodney Hood and Larry Nance Jr. – are all expected to make their Cavs debut Sunday at TD Garden.
It will be a challenge for Cleveland to integrate all of its new players, but it will also make it challenging on the Celtics, because they have no idea what they’re about to see.
“All the film goes out the window, I’ll tell you that,” Kyrie Irving said ahead of the game. “I think everyone’s kind of at a high anticipation of what they’ll look like.”
Cleveland played in Atlanta Friday night, but none of its new acquisitions were able to suit up. Pulling film from that 123-107 Cavs win was the best Stevens could do to prepare the C’s for this game.
“I think the way they played on Friday night is probably the way that they’re going to look to play (against us),” said Stevens. “I don’t know that for a fact; they’ll ultimately make that call. But they played with LeBron (James) at the post, at the elbow, with the ball in pick-and-roll. They surrounded him with shooters, ran a lot of their catch-and-shoot actions that they’ve run for a long time, and guys like Korver (30 points) had [season] highs. What they’ve done is they’ve surrounded [James] with even more guys that are new, but they all fill that role of being able to play off of him and score the ball.”
While there’s a lot to be concerned about Sunday afternoon in regard to preparing for a new-look Cavs team, Stevens notes that the Celtics need to focus more on themselves and their continuing development.
“I’m more concerned about us right now and how we play and the mentality that we play with, especially after we talked the other night,” Stevens said, referring to Friday’s 97-91 loss to the Indiana Pacers. “I think that we’ve got to get a lot better if we ultimately want to get to where we want to go regardless of how this game goes today.”
With that being said, Sunday’s game is certainly part of the path of Boston’s journey, so facing the new-look Cavs should be a great test.
- Taylor Snow