Published On: Fri, Feb 9th, 2018

Mark your calendars: 4 games to watch after hectic trade deadline

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Another NBA trade deadline has come and gone, once again shifting the landscape of the league.

Thanks to their dismal start to 2018, the Cleveland Cavaliers swapped nearly half their roster in an attempt to reverse course and trend upward in the season’s second half. And that’s in addition to the other trades made across the league.

Of course, trades have a funny way of working out in the Association. They eventually set up long-awaited reunions and awkward run-ins between former teammates, and 2018 looks to be no exception.

Here are four games to look forward to through the rest of the season now that the deadline dust has settled:

Feb. 9: Pistons vs. Clippers

Though it wasn’t finalized on deadline day, the Detroit Pistons and Los Angeles Clippers arguably traded the biggest name when Blake Griffin was sent from sunny California to the Motor City. Luckily, we won’t have to wait long for a reunion, as Griffin will host his former teammates just one day after the deadline.

Feb. 11: Celtics vs. Cavaliers

General manager Koby Altman did his part, and now the Cavaliers have to do theirs. Their full-scale roster upheaval was meant to transform the Cavaliers from a laughingstock back into a legitimate threat. After Friday’s tune-up contest against the Atlanta Hawks, a matchup against the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Celtics will show just how successful their metamorphosis was.

March 11: Lakers vs. Cavaliers

Isaiah Thomas‘ 15-game tenure with the Cavaliers couldn’t have gone much worse. After returning from a lengthy rehab for a hip injury Jan. 2, Cleveland went 7-15 in games with Thomas in the lineup, and the diminutive point guard further hampered his case when he criticized the team for crumbling under adversity, and reportedly questioned whether Kevin Love was lying about a January illness. Thomas will get another chance to prove his worth to the Cavaliers, though, when the Los Angeles Lakers welcome Cleveland to the Staples Center in March.

March 27: Heat vs. Cavaliers

Considering the trade deadline essentially hinged on their desperation to get better fast, it should come as no surprise to see the Cavaliers dominate this list. One of the repercussions of their wild day, however, was that they had to let Dwyane Wade loose, though they did him a favor by sending him back to Miami. While “James vs. Wade” won’t have the luster it once had, their late-season meeting could go a long way toward shaping up the eventual playoff picture.

(Photos courtesy: Getty Images)

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