When you have a roster shake-up as dramatic as the Cleveland Cavaliers experienced on the trade deadline, the team’s rotation can be a bit of a mystery. With four new players active Sunday against the Boston Celtics, the lineup possibilities seem endless.
As Tyronn Lue announced Saturday, the starting lineup from Friday night’s win over the Atlanta Hawks will mostly stay in-tact. J.R. Smith and Cedi Osman will start on the wing, while George Hill takes over responsibilities at the point guard position:
Cavs starting lineup for the Celtics game per Ty Lue: George Hill, JR Smith, Cedi Osman, LeBron James, Tristan Thompson— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) February 10, 2018
Given the lack of time playing together, it’s not surprising to see few changes to the team’s starting lineup. Hill plays similar to Calderon, in that he takes care of the basketball and isn’t going to force the issue. He’s far more dynamic, a better shooter, and better defensively — but he isn’t going to disrupt the rest of the lineup like some of the other options the team has gone through this season.
It is interesting to see the dramatic shift in how the team views Cedi Osman. Osman has been solid whenever he receives time this season. However, with his performance against the Minnesota Timberwolves seems to have earned the trust of Tyronn Lue.
As the team gets more comfortable with one-another, I expect to see more changes to the starting lineup. Rodney Hood is clearly the best shooting guard on this roster, and will likely get a chance to start. A potential lineup of Hill, Hood, LeBron James, Kevin Love, and Tristan Thompson would give the team four players that are 6’9 or taller. Even if they aren’t stout defensively, that length would go a long way towards hiding their individual flaws.