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Hill, Hood, Clarkson Post Strong Debuts; James Nears Triple-Double in Blowout Win; Three Takeaways

1. Newcomers blossom in Cavs debuts

There was a newfound energy on both ends of the floor for the road five, as they leaped into passing lanes and applied more on-the-ball pressure to induce 14 turnovers. Most notably, Hill used his seven-foot wingspan to neutralize Irving and limit Jaylen Brown to 2-of-9 shooting from the field and 0-of-5 from beyond the perimeter. Hill entered play with a career-worst 112.9 defensive rating, but his return to a playoff-caliber organization might improve those numbers moving forward.

Having James on the floor helped open up space for Hood in the half-court offense, as his left-handed shot immediately became a weapon off the bench. Similar to Hill, Hood is having his best year from deep, as evidenced by a career-high 38.9 percent three-point percentage.

Clarkson was efficient and under control, with no turnovers and 63.6 percent (7-of-11) shooting from the field. His biggest highlight came on a steal and transition layup in the early stages of the second quarter.

Larry Nance Jr. had two field goals, a pair of slam-dunks that lifted the Cleveland bench to its feet.

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John Alfes is a senior at John Carroll University, and hails from Westlake, Ohio. His love and passion for the game of baseball originated in 1998, when he played catch with his father at the age of two. A former collegiate pitcher, Alfes currently serves as a Cleveland Cavaliers reporter for AP Radio/Metro Networks and the Cleveland Indians Beat Writer for CBS Sports/Scout Media Network, all while majoring in Communications (focus in Journalism) and English (focus in Professional Writing). He is the Sports Editor for The Carroll News, Sports Director for WJCU 88.7 FM and Senior Writer for the John Carroll Sports Information Department. John is an Eagle Scout and loves his two younger brothers (Conrad and Daniel) and two parents (John and Celeste). You can follow John Alfes on Twitter (@JohnAlfes) or reach him through email (

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