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PREVIEW: New-look Cavs seek redemption against Thunder

1. Clapping back

The last time these two teams faced off, the Cavs were in the middle of a free fall. The Thunder walked out of Quicken Loans Arena with a 148-124 win. In the loss, the Cavs tied a franchise record for points allowed, as Paul George dominated with 36 points and Russell Westbrook carved up the Cavs’ defense with 20 assists.

Things couldn’t get much uglier than that first time around.

At the trade deadline, the Cavs upgraded their defense and the ability to run, but the Thunder in many ways may prove to be a more difficult test than Boston, especially with Westbrook returning after missing the last two games with an ankle sprain. While Boston has a great defense, they rank 21st in offensive rating, while OKC ranks 12th.

Last time on the court against OKC, the Cavs struggled with switching and defending mismatches. With the new additions, it will be interesting to see if some of those issues are mitigated.

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Ashley is a former basketball player who covers the Cleveland Cavaliers, Indians and high school sports for NEO Sports Insiders. She also covers the Cavs for SB Nation's Fear The Sword. Ashley is a 2015 graduate of John Carroll University and previously worked in political journalism. You can follow her on Twitter @AshleyBastock42

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