The Cleveland Cavaliers losing for the fourth time this season has led LeBron James and also veteran James Jones to hold a player only meeting following the 103-99 defeat against the Toronto Raptors, trying to figure out why their performances have been so inconsistent lately.
Perfectionism is good, and James expected the Cavaliers to be better than 11-4 at this point, maybe checking what the Golden State Warriors are doing all the time to try and compare between the two teams. While he’s mentioned once or twice injuries are playing a part in the difference, he’s clearly unhappy with the way the Warriors have been scorching through the league, including beating the Raptors thanks to some dubious calls, while Toronto came through at home against the Cavs.
Why players only? Because James and Jones don’t feel this has anything to do with the coaching staff, although it’ll feed some more rumors about who is really running this team. James has gotten used to those, not that it should matter to him. David Blatt has also seen enough of those since becoming the head coach of the Cavaliers, and he’s probably not making too much of them by now. If the media wants to play that angle, so be it.
It’s all mindset. It comes from within. I’ve always had it; my upbringing had me like that. It’s either you got it or you don’t. Fatigue is not a factor. It’s not an excuse.
The Cavaliers were terrible in the fourth quarter and the finish in general, getting outscored 31-16 from 3:46 remaining in the third quarter until 2:01 remaining in the fourth quarter with the Raptors running away with the game. Blatt, unlike James, thinks that the missing players: Kyrie Irving, Iman Shumpert, Timofey Mozgov and Matthew Dellavedova played a big part in the loss. There’s only so much players can cover up for.
I thought that we got tired for obvious reasons. Very short-handed. Thought our guys played hard and I thought we ran out of gas.