Cavs kick off their new era with a statement win in Boston


And the Celtics never really challenged after halftime.

That comes with the Cleveland Cavaliers set to take on the Celtics in Boston as the home team retires Paul Pierce's jersey.

BOSTON - Cedi Osman, making just the second start of his career, anticipated the pass, snatched hold of the ball and darted down the Boston Celtics' parquet court for an uncontested, two-handed slam.

Two games is a small sample size, but the complete overhaul of the Cavs roster on trade deadline day is paying dividends early.

"They've got a great player [in LeBron James] and have surrounded him with a bunch of great shooters", Stevens said of the Cavs' new group. It will be exciting to see how things play out in the Land, once Kevin Love returns, the team will be at full strength ready for a Finals push.

The dude isn't afraid to shoot, can jump through any gym in the National Basketball Association and is an absolute menace when he crashes the boards.

Pierce played for 15 seasons in Boston, averaging 21.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game.

No other player can ever wear No. 34 for the Boston Celtics. The C's rarely attacked in the paint, shot 40.4 percent against one of the NBA's statistically worst defensive teams - although, maybe this new edition of the Cavs has upgraded in that area - and by the midpoint of the final quarter had dipped under 40 percent.

James, who didn't even play in the fourth, almost had a triple-double through three quarters (24 points, 10 assists, 8 rebounds), and he got all of his new teammates involved.

With newcomers George Hill, Rodney Hood, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance and Isaiah Thomas, Channing Frye, Iman Shumpert, Jae Crowder and Dwyane Wade gone, some major changes will have to be made immediately. (5 points, 4 rebounds) all contributed, and look to be settling in nicely.

Boston guard Kyrie Irving, who grew up a Kobe Bryant fan, learned to appreciate Pierce through their playoff battles.

Sunday's loss was by-far the worst of the season for the Celtics, but it is just one of 82.

The Celtics dug themselves out of a 26-point first-half hole and came all the way back, only to fall to Victor Oladipo and the Indiana Pacers on Friday.