All season, the Cleveland Cavaliers have been the NBA’s most-discussed team, and that hasn’t changed since Thursday’s trade deadline.
If anything, people are talking about them even more — and why not? This is a team that underwent a major facelift thanks to general manager Koby Altman and team owner Dan Gilbert.
Along with (who else?) LeBron James, the Cavs still feature Tristan Thompson, J.R. Smith, Kevin Love (when healthy) and several other familiar names, including coach Tyronn Lue and his staff.
But now they have replaced Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose, Channing Frye and Iman Shumpert with George Hill, Rodney Hood, Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson.
The four newcomers are still undoubtedly very new, having played in just one game — Sunday’s 121-99 landslide of a road win over the Boston Celtics.
And the Celtics and Toronto Raptors, who look better than ever, are still ahead of the Cavs in the Eastern Conference standings (with the Raptors currently holding the first spot).
But this is the regular season, and we’ve seen that LeBron tends to save his best for when it matters most. You don’t make seven consecutive trips to The Finals any other way.
Granted, it’s still very early, as the postseason doesn’t begin until the middle of April. A lot can and will happen between today and then.
But are the remade Cavs (33-22) now the team to beat again in the East?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. As always, we look forward to reading what you have to say and often will jump in and offer some thoughts ourselves.