While Boston welcomed former Celtics into the building for Paul Pierce's jersey retirement ceremony - Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, Doc Rivers and Antoine Walker were notable attendees - it was the Cavs' fresh four of Rodney Hood, George Hill, Larry Nance Jr. and Jordan Clarkson breathing new life into Cleveland.
Lue's postgame comments in their totality were tempered.
"We have to see how it meshes, obviously", he said.
"We have one of the best players in the history of the game, I'm sure he's going to dictate the tempo and things like that".
"They're long and athletic". "But I like the pieces that we have coming in".
"We're all professionals, and we were happy with the guys that we had, and we're going to (be) happy with the guys that we have now". Kyrie (Irving) is so good 1-on-1.
There is a strong sense from Thomas' side that James was among those who wanted to see him go - a claim that is refuted by James' associates. Very generic National Basketball Association sets, but we just got to play hard and compete.
Cleveland's remake was staggering. The youth and length that comes with the trio of Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr. and Rodney Hood along with the veteran savvy of George Hill will nearly inevitably steer Cleveland's season back on track.
The Cavaliers certainly looked, at the least, more energetic on defense Sunday.
"I thought our spirit was different", Lue said.
I didn't know it was possible. I just felt like he was playing behind the eight ball. Those guys were flying around.
Chicago, obviously, didn't have space for an injured veteran, so they naturally waived him.
Last season's Eastern Conference Finalists have played twice already this year, with the season series now level at 1-1 1 so stay tuned at 8:30pm on BT Sport to see who comes out on top. Crowder has struggled this year, though, and Shumpert struggled to stay in Cleveland's rotation. Cleveland is hoping to have those players available for Saturday's contest vs. Boston in what could be a preview of the Eastern Conference Finals. A net neutral? Who knows.
The Celtics employ several wings who can guard multiple positions defensively, which isn't new.
While Altman's main objective was to fix Cleveland's culture, he also wanted to spark James, who hasn't been himself in recent weeks. Hill hit shots and made things hard for his matchup on defense, Nance is a walking and living embodiment of the Energizer Bunny, Hood feels like a younger version of JR Smith (who suddenly looked like JR Smith again), and Clarkson was everywhere.
After being treated on the Cavs' bench, James checked back into the game with 8:58 left before the break. The 6-10 forward/center leads the team in assists and was named an All-Star for the fifth time.