You would think the Cavs would win when LeBron posts a triple-double and Kyrie drops 49 points, right? Wrong. The Cleveland Cavaliers suffered their 5th loss in their last 7 games in Monday night’s 124-122 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.
Cleveland is clearly in a bit of a slump right now and is relying way too heavily on LeBron James and Kyrie Irving to carry the team. LeBron played 44 minutes in this game and Irving played 41 and after the game, James ripped the Cavs depth, saying:
“It’s great to have bodies,” James said. “Obviously, in the playoffs, you go down to what, eight max? And if somebody gets in foul trouble, you go to nine. You’re not playing back-to-backs. You have two days in between. You’re able to lock in. … It’s like when you don’t have bodies. It’s tough. The f–king grind of the regular season. We’re a top-heavy team. We have a top-heavy team. We top-heavy as s–t. It’s me, [Kyrie Irving], [Kevin Love]. It’s top-heavy.”
“We need a f–king playmaker,” James said. “I’m not saying you can just go find one, like you can go outside and see trees. I didn’t say that. … I don’t know what we got to offer. I just know me, personally? I don’t got no time to waste. I’ll be 33 in the winter, and I ain’t got time to waste. That’s what I’m talking about.”
Irving dropped a season-high 49 points, LeBron posted his third triple-double of the season with 26 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists and Kevin Love added 22 points and grabbed 16 rebounds as well, so how did the Cavs lose? They lost because the ‘Big Three’ accounted for 97 of the Cavaliers 122 points in this game.
Anthony Davis missed this game with a leg injury but clearly, New Orleans was determined to win as they led the entire game. Terrance Jones ended up with a career-high 36 points to go along with 11 rebounds while Jrue Holiday finished with a season-high 33 points.
Cleveland let the Pelicans jump out to an early double-digit lead right out of the gate and that lead increased to as much as 22 points in the second quarter. The Cavs spent the remainder of the game trying to dig themselves out of that hole and actually brought the score to 117-114 with 1:58 left in the game when Kyrie Irving nailed all three free-throws after Holiday fouled him on a three-point attempt. You can’t hit them all, though; Kyrie missed the game-tying three within the final minute of the game and let the Pelicans run out the clock to finish with a 124-122 score.
I definitely do believe that LeBron’s comments were warranted as he and Irving are playing way too many minutes for this team to be losing to bad teams. The ‘Big Three’ are being relied on way too much and Cleveland needs their bench players to step up and carry some of the load for their team. Since being traded to the Cavs; Kyle Korver only averages 7 points per game and they really need him to step up and embrace his role off the bench. Although they are defending NBA champions, LeBron is right, they need a playmaker and it is time for them to make some moves to get one. The Cavaliers need someone or several people who are going to consistently provide points off the bench to take some of the load off James, Irving, and Love’s shoulders.