Perhaps not since the early part of his career will LeBron James be asked to take on more responsibility than ever after the Cleveland Cavaliers virtually rebooted its roster.
Veteran point guard George Hill, who came from Utah Jazz along with shooter Rodney Hood, said that he will take the cue from the four-time MVP as he acclimates himself with the Cleveland offense. He said their edge is having one of the best players ever on their side.
“We just got to do our job, be the best role players we can possibly be. He’s the Batman, and we got to be all Robins,” he said. “We got to figure it out.”
This season, James is already scoring 26.4, grabbing 8.1 rebounds and dishing out 8.9 assists while playing 37.1 minutes per game while he’s already deep into his 15th season.
After the smoke cleared in the trade deadline, Cavaliers shipped six of its key players and became younger in the process. Dwyane Wade, Isaiah Thomas, Derrick Rose, Jae Crowder, Iman Shumpert and Channing Frye.
In return, they got Hill, Hood and Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. from the Los Angeles Lakers.
Coach Tyronn Lue said that the Cavaliers will score by committee, especially with Kevin Love out with injury, but Hood and Jordan Clarkson will both provide scoring punch.
“LeBron is No. 1, and then after that, it’s going to be, you know, different guys on different nights,” he said. “It could be Hood tonight. It could be George Hill. It could be Clarkson. It could be Jeff Green, [Kyle] Korver. So, you never know.”
Meanwhile, the Cavaliers had a statement game against rival Boston Celtics, 121-91, with James finishing just two rebounds shy of a triple-double. Just like what Lue said, everybody pitched in on the offense, paced by their captain’s 24 points. Clarkson scored 17, and both Hood and J.R. Smith scored 15 points apiece.