The New 4 helps jolt Cavaliers back to life

Tyronn Lue's health has had an impact on the Cavaliers, according to LeBron James.

The four new guys on the Cleveland Cavaliers haven’t been around long enough to call them “The Fantastic 4,” but the way they blended with their new teammates certainly was, well, fantastic.

The new guys — George Hill, Jordan Clarkson, Rodney Hood and Larry Nance Jr. — put together a collective 49 points, on 18-of-35 shooting, including 8-of-15 from 3 — in spurring the Cavaliers’ 121-99 taking apart of the Boston Celtics on Sunday afternoon at TD Garden.

For now, “The New 4” will do just fine, thank you.

“It was a good start,” LeBron James said. “It’s almost like the new guys have been here.”

Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue, asked with trying to integrate four new players on one days’ preparation time, saw — and felt — the difference.

“I thought our spirit was different,” he said. “I didn’t know what the outcome would be. But I knew we would compete and play hard. Move the basketball and move bodies. Those guys are flying around and it was good to see.”

James, who sparkled, again, with 24 points, eight rebounds and 10 assists in 28 minutes and wasn’t needed in the fourth quarter, couldn’t say enough about the New 4, who had about half a practice with their new teammates Saturday in Atlanta.

“It started with George and his on-the-ball pressure and him just running the team,” James said of Hill, the team’s new starting point guard. “And then the three guys came off the bench.

“Jordan was — he’s ready to score at any time, but his composure was great. Rodney plays with so much poise, and Larry was just controlling the perimeter, setting great pick-and-rolls. Got him a lob, got him a dunk, so it was a good start for the new guys, a good start for all of us with our revamped team so far.”

Hill, who had 12 points and three assists, related James’ pregame words to the team were all about positivity.

“LeBron said before the game, ‘Who cares about mistakes? Who cares about missed shots? Who cares about all that stuff?'” he said. “We weren’t here to be perfect. There was no judgement out there today. Go out there, have fun, take our shots, be ourselves. I think that’s what we tried to do.”

Clarkson’s athleticism and shooting ability were parlayed into a 17-point, two-steal performance. He said James’ words to him were succinct and to the point.

“‘That’s the way to hoop,'” Clarkson said. “That was it.”

Nance’s modest numbers (5 points, 4 boards, 3 assists, 1 steal) belied he aggressiveness and defensive activity he displayed, was not surprised with what Clarkson flashed against Boston.

“That’s J.C. That’s Jordan Clarkson, get used to it,” he said. “What you saw tonight is Jordan Clarkson. That was nothing outstanding, that’s his norm. Be ready for it.”

Hood, who had 15 points in 19 minutes, had a blast playing alongside James for the first time in his career.

“Fun,” he said. “It’s fun. He demands simple things, just to play hard. But other than that, he’ll make the game easy for you if you’re in the right spot, so it’s fun.”

The difference in the Cavaliers (33-22) was not lost on former Cavaliers guard Dahntay Jones, who took to Twitter to say so.

To his credit, Hill, the 31-year-old, 10-year veteran would not be baited into talking about what went down in Cleveland before Thursday’s makeover, which included a string of embarrassing blowout losses, rumors of infighting and finger pointing.

“It’s not my job to ask questions about that,” Hill said. “I’m a big believer that if you continue to look back at your past, you’ll trip over the future that’s ahead of you. I don’t care what happened before. We’re here to start something new.”

James sees better days ahead for him and his teammates, including the four new guys.

“I think they’re playing better basketball than we are, especially for the majority of the season,” James said. “We’ve got some work to still do. We’re just coming together; guys don’t quite know what we want to do.

“So, we’ve got some catching up to do. Not only Boston, but Toronto and Philadelphia and a lot of other teams in the Eastern Conference and the rest of league. To try to get on a page where we feel like we’re confident enough to win a playoff game.”

In the end, though, it’s all about the big picture, James said. He admitted he can be more than a bit demanding of those who ride with him.

“At the end of the day, I just like being around guys who want to play and work hard,” he said. “I know I demand a lot of excellence out of my teammates, but I demand out of myself, too. 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.”

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