Here are player grades for Tuesday’s Cavs-Thunder game, as the Cavs are now 2-0 post-trade with wins against two good teams.
LeBron James: A
A 17-point third quarter was the high point of a 37-point, eight-assist, eight-rebound night. The only knocks on his performance are a 6-10 night at the three throw line and five turnovers.
J.R. Smith: A+
Smith not only made six three-pointers, but made some heady plays — including one in the game’s closing moments that sent up a Larry Nance dunk. This is the player the Cavs have been missing all season.
Tristan Thompson: D+
Thompson struggled with Steven Adams throughout, but especially so in the first quarter. He also remained on the bench late in favor of Nance.
George Hill: B
Hill played engaged defense against Russell Westbrook, particularly in not letting Westbrook have clear drives to the rim out of the pick-and-roll. But he shot 3-7 from the field (and 1-4 from three), which probably explains why Clarkson closed the game over him.
Cedi Osman: B-
Osman started the game, and the second half, but didn’t return in each half after being subbed out. He struggled at times defending Paul George and Carmelo Anthony, as was to be expected. But he had some strong moments, too.
Jordan Clarkson: A-
Clarkson was 6-10 from the field for 14 points, had four assists and just one turnover. He earned a 50/50 split in minutes with Hill, at least for one night.
Kyle Korver: B
Korver only played eight minutes and was 0-3 from the field. But he played good defense and directed the game’s flow when LeBron sat. What his role will be moving forward will be interesting to watch.
Larry Nance Jr.: A-
Nance pulled down a career-high eight offensive rebounds, had three blocks and battled Adams much, much better than Thompson did.
Jeff Green: B
Green offered some needed scoring and size on bench units, as he normally does. It’s weird how the Cavs kind of need him.
Rodney Hood: A-
He picked up a few bad fouls, but he at least fought on defense when the Cavs asked him to defend George. A 5-10 shooting night (including 4-8 from deep) is also exactly what the Cavs want from him.