The Cleveland Cavaliers have been hit by injuries yet again, this time to Tristan Thompson, who suffered an ankle sprain in Saturday night’s home loss to the Denver Nuggets. That has thrust newest Cavalier Larry Nance Jr. into the starting lineup in Thompson’s stead for Monday night’s matchup against the Detroit Pistons, and boy did he deliver.

Nance Jr. finished with 22 points, 15 rebounds, and two steals in 32 minutes of action, with both the points and rebounds marking career-highs. Additionally, the Cavs outscored the Pistons by 15 points when he was on the floor, and helped Cleveland defeat Detroit 112-90.

In one of the biggest highlights of the night, Nance Jr. forced a Detroit turnover into the hands of teammate J.R. Smith, then ran a pick-and-roll with Smith that ended with an alley-pop dunk for Nance Jr.

Another highlight, although it came after the whistle, was a mini reverse dunk on forward Blake Griffin.

Larry Nance Jr. dunking everything. 😳

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Although it was just one game, the move to start Nance Jr. clearly had a positive impact on the Cavs. Could the team look to keep him in the starting unit once Tristan Thompson is healthy and available to return? Should they?

The Cavs will determine that when the time comes, but they now hit the road for a six-game road trip that includes four games on the West Coast against Pacific Division opponents. Thankfully, Cleveland may have found something in a smaller lineup that saw Rodney Hood, LeBron James, and Larry Nance Jr. in the frontcourt alongside George Hill and J.R. Smith.