LeBron calls Cavs fragile and he is correct

BY foxsports • November 22, 2014

CLEVELAND -- Random dribbles from the Cavaliers' terrible 110-93 loss at home Saturday to the Eastern Conference-leading Toronto Raptors:

1. I'm not really sure what to say about this team anymore. I don't think the issues are major. I've written that at least 100 times. But the issues are there, and they are very real. And it starts with the coach. Not because David Blatt has done a ton wrong, but because that's where it always starts.

2. Blatt is like a college coach who made the leap to the NBA. That's really what this is. He doesn't yet have a feel for who to play when, where or how. He doesn't do a fantastic job of using his timeouts. He doesn't seem to have a feel for managing the game, or his bench. And to be frank, I can't get a real gauge on what the players think about him. That truly is the biggest key to success in the NBA. You need the respect of your players -- and more importantly, your superstars.

3. Now, it's not Blatt's fault that his bench was outscored 51-19 on Saturday. It's not his fault that Raptors reserve Lou Williams lit up the Cavs' defense to the tune of 36 points (including 24 in the first half). And it's not his fault that the Cavs committed a whopping 18 turnovers. But Blatt does need to figure out why things aren't clicking, and get them to work. Truth is, this team is stacked.

4. Blatt also deserves considerably more time. The Cavs are 5-7. To me, that means little beyond this: There are 70 games left. Yes, 70. That's just in the regular season. I also guarantee the Cavs make the playoffs, and I guarantee it will be as one of the top four seeds in the East. But I have no evidence to back any of this up.

5. Right now, the Cavs are timid, they play with little determination or focus, and they barely defend.

6. After the game, LeBron James put it another way: "We're a very fragile team right now. Any little adversity hits us and we shell up."

7. James then predicted this is "not even the lowest" the Cavs are gonna get. He's probably right. This could still get worse, because this is about chemistry, not talent. And when there's no cohesion, there's no telling how low a team can go.

8. Should fans overreact? I don't know. I don't really know what qualifies as good and poor fan behavior anymore. I will say this: I don't blame fans for trashing this team. It's certainly not what they were expecting, even early. I don't think anyone expected the Cavs to be 12-0. But is winning your home games asking too much? The Cavs have lost three straight at The Q (and four in a row overall).

9. Like I said, I'm not sure what to say. This just isn't working right now. The Cavs were up 26-8 at one point. They later trailed by 19 and lost by 17. Do the math. That's bad. Even against a talented team like the Raptors. And right now, the Raptors (11-2) are the class of the East.

10. Kyrie Irving on the Raptors: "They're No. 1 in the East and they showed why tonight. They're a true team that plays team basketball."

11. Kyrie speaks the truth, as the Raptors surprised their way to the No. 3 seed and the playoffs last season. They lost in the first round -- but their experience against a veteran Brooklyn Nets team was invaluable. It's the type of postseason know-how that Kyrie, Kevin Love and several other key Cavs don't yet have.

12. Love was pretty good again with 23 points and seven rebounds. I'd like to see him start dominating the boards again. As one Washington writer said, Love no longer crashes the glass, "he sort of caresses it."

13. Irving played a well-rounded game with 21 points and six assists,and LeBron went for 15 and 10. But none of it covers up the fact the Cavs just completed an 0-4 week. Yuck, yuck and double yuck.

14. Still, they are staying positive, even very confident. Just take a listen.

15. Kyrie: "We're still learning how to win. We just gotta stay with it."

16. LeBron: "I'm very optimistic and more positive than I thought I'd be right now."

17. Blatt: "I have not had a losing record in my career and I will not have one here. ...It's lots of things and we WILL figure it out."

18. Also one Cavs official responded to the large and loud contingent of Raptors fans after the game by whispering the following to me as we left the arena: "Tell them to talk to us in June."

19. The Cavs don't play on the road again until Dec. 8 at New York. Read: This is a good chance for them to get things fixed.

20. It should be noted that Blatt indicated he is contemplating changing the lineup and rotation. And it could happen in time for Monday's game against Orlando.


share