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PREVIEW: New-look Cavs battle Irving, Celtics in Sunday matinee

CLEVELAND – When the Cavaliers last played Boston on Jan. 3, Jae Crowder went 2-of-12 in 28 minutes, Isaiah Thomas rested on the second night of a back-to-back and Dwyane Wade and Kevin Love combined to go 3-of-21 (14.3 percent) from the field in a 102-88 loss.

Times have changed since then.

George Hill, Rodney Hood, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. will make their Cleveland debuts against Kyrie Irving and the Celtics on Sunday afternoon at TD Garden. General manager Koby Altman made three trades at the deadline this week, losing Wade, Thomas, Crowder, Derrick Rose, Iman Shumpert, Channing Frye and two draft picks. Love is still at least a month away from returning to the floor due to injury.

General manager Danny Ainge reportedly wanted a first-round pick for Marcus Smart, but stayed put after overhauling his roster in the offseason.

The season series is even (1-1), with the Cavs trailing Boston by 6.5 games atop the Eastern Conference ladder.

When: 3:30 p.m. ET


Online: Watch ESPN

Radio: WTAM 1100 AM, WMMS 100.7 FM, La Mega 87.7 FM

Cavs probable starters: PG George Hill, SG J.R. Smith, SF Cedi Osman, PF LeBron James, C Tristan Thompson.

Celtics probable starters: PG Kyrie Irving, SG Jaylen Brown, SF Jayson Tatum, PF Al Horford, C Aron Baynes.

Cavs injuries: PF Kevin Love (left hand fracture – OUT).

Celtics injuries: SF Gordon Hayward (left ankle rehab – OUT), PG Shane Larkin (right knee soreness – OUT), SG Marcus Smart (left hand laceration – OUT).

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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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