A 123-107 victory at the Atlanta Hawks was the flawless boost for the team, but Cavaliers star forward LeBron James was quick to dismiss that the win was due to the departures of his former team-mates. His time with the Cavs was an unmitigated disaster.
The makeover was also aimed at placating James, who can become a free agent and leave Cleveland this summer.
"The attention to detail was at an all-time high for this season", the forward said after the game, per Kevin Parrish Jr. of USA Today.
"We just got to do our job, be the best role players we can possibly be".
LeBron James barely missed his third straight triple-double, finishing with 24 points, 10 assists and 8 rebounds in 28 minutes, playing through an injury scare in the first quarter when he banged knees with Boston big man Aron Baynes. "Probably not. So with those pieces, we chose to shuffle the deck and get younger and get some youthful talent with energy and enthusiasm, great cultural pieces that I want to be a part of". Hill hit shots and made things hard for his matchup on defense, Nance is a walking and living embodiment of the Energizer Bunny, Hood feels like a younger version of JR Smith (who suddenly looked like JR Smith again), and Clarkson was everywhere.More news: House GOP to Continue Dossier Probe Without Memos
While Altman's main objective was to fix Cleveland's culture, his efforts also were created to appease James, who hasn't been himself in recent weeks. Hill chipped in 12 while getting the start at point guard, while Nance added just five points but snagged four rebounds.
Altman feels the trades will rejuvenate James. We had so many battles with him in Indiana.
"It's nearly like the new guys have been here", James said after the game.
"He's the guy that is going to take us back to the promised land", Altman said, "so you want to put the right pieces around him".
Just last week James expressed doubts about the Cavs' commitment to fixing their roster.More news: 'We are at WAR' Turkish helicopter SHOT DOWN in Syria killing soldiers
The Cleveland Cavaliers were among the most active teams before the trade deadline and received the approval of their lone superstar and face of the organization.
He doesn't have any doubts now.
The LeBron-to-the-Lakers rumors have persisted long enough to make it seem that the move is bound to happen, though it is obviously still far from guaranteed.
James, who holds a $35.6 million option, said before the deadline that he would not waive his no-trade clause.
James gets the next one.More news: A 17-Year-Old Snowboarder Chloe Kim To Dominate Winter Olympics 2018
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