LeBron James has seen all he can bare from his struggling Cleveland Cavaliers.
“I’m lost for words, actually,” James told ESPN following the Cavs 120-88 Saturday night blowout loss to the Houston Rockets on ABC. “They should take us off every nationally televised game for the rest of the season. We haven’t played good ball and we get our butts kicked every time we play on national television, so I’m at a loss for words.”
Officially, the Cavs have now dropped their last eight nationally televised games by an average of 18 points per game.
While James and company have become notorious for their mid-season struggles over the last three seasons, only to rebound each time to reach the NBA Finals, something about this time seems different.
“Don’t look like [we tried],” said coach Tyronn Lue after watching his team drop its fourth game by at least 24 points since the new year. “We didn’t have no fight. I just think our mindset needs to change. I think we need to do things harder.”
Newcomer Isaiah Thomas said one issue seems to be he and his teammates simply have not yet learned to trust one another.
“We can’t just say it was toughness,” he said. “All they do is shoot 3s. I don’t know what’s so tough about that. We’re not together on both ends. There’s a lot of one-on-one on the offense end, maybe because we don’t trust each other. And then on the defensive end, it’s the same thing. Guys are put on islands and there’s no trust. I mean, if you don’t trust something… I don’t know. I think it has a lot to do with trust on both ends.”
Thomas has been slow to find his form after missing 11 months with a hip injury, according to the Chicago Tribune, but James is healthy and in years past that has been enough for the Cavs to at least compete with any team.
“We gotta stop worrying about the past,” James said. “This is this season, and we haven’t played well versus anyone.”
With the trade deadline looming, the Cavs could be looking to wheel and deal in an effort to rediscover their groove. James said he will leave that to others to figure out, instead focusing on getting his team back on course.
“That’s not a question for me,” he said. “I show up to work every day. I bust my tail every day. I’m the first one to get to the gym and I’m one of the last ones to leave. I do my part. I control what I can control, and that is what I can control.”