The Cleveland Cavaliers suffered another bad loss on Tuesday night, this time to the Orlando Magic, further dampening their hopes of claiming one of the top-two seeds in the Eastern Conference, as well as returning to the NBA Finals for the fourth consecutive year.
"It's nonsense, and it's a non story", James said Friday after the Cavaliers' practice. "My teammates found me and I was able to make plays". I couldn't do that. So I just try to lead by example and do my job.
Prior to the Cavaliers' game against the Timberwolves on ESPN Wednesday, ESPN's Cassidy Hubbarth delivered quite the report. We go out prepared. Win, lose or draw, at the end of the day, we're all brothers and we understand that.
The Cleveland Cavaliers was expected to continue their dominance in the National Basketball Association this season as they have done the last three years.
Since January 1st, the Cavs are 5-9, including blowing a 21 point leading to the abysmal Orlando Magic and now sit in 3rd place of the Eastern Conference.
The Cavs led by 21 points in the first half at Orlando and ended up losing 116-98 on a night when coach Ty Lue went to the locker room ill in the second quarter and never returned to coach.
According to Elias Sports Bureau research, it was just the third time in the past 10 seasons that a team had a 40-point quarter and a single-digit quarter in the same game. "We've had big leads this year. They have rebounding. They have a lot of weapons". They drove our closeouts, hit some big-time shots in the third quarter, and [Jonathan] Simmons was really good in the third, obviously. We just couldn't stop it. "A 41-point quarter is hard to come back from".
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) passes around Orlando Magic center Khem Birch (24) during the second half at Amway Center.
That 127-99 victory was the start of a stretch for the Cavaliers when they've lost nine of their last 13 games now after Tuesday's loss at Orlando.
While Thomas' comments certainly have merit, given how dilapidated Cleveland has looked of late, you'd imagine they're not so easy to take - for teammates or fans - coming from a player whose combination of usage rate and effective field goal percentage thus far evoke memories of post-injury Derrick Rose, post-injury Kobe Bryant, post-lockout Shawn Kemp and Wizards-era Michael Jordan. The second problem is the #LeBron James situation. "We're the ones playing and we just got our (butts) whipped".
I think that the way things are going right now, you've got some members of the Cleveland Cavaliers that already know where they're going for vacation in the beginning of May....
"It's no time to throw shade on our season".
"We got to do better", Thomas said. "And then we revert back to what makes us lose games".