The Cleveland Cavaliers dropped their sixth game in their last eight contest to the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night. Sacramento defeated Cleveland 116-112 in overtime and also trolled them on Twitter as the official Kings Twitter page posted this after the game:
After LeBron James’ comments after their loss to the Pelicans on Monday night, I expected the team to come out with some fire in this game but that wasn’t the case. The Cavs looked particularly lazy all night long as they only converted on 17 of their 34 free throws, turned the ball over countless times, and often lacked urgency on the defensive end of the floor.
This was a back-and-forth contest the whole way through and every time Sacramento would pull away, Cleveland would respond with a small glimpse of offensive excellence. The game was notched at the end of the final frame and would need overtime to be decided. The overtime period was back-and-forth for the most part as well, until DeMarcus Cousins found Aaron Afflalo for a decisive triple:
Should Cavaliers fans be concerned? YES. The Cavs aren’t playing like defending NBA Champions and if they want any chance of repeating this year, they need to find a solution to their struggles. LeBron was outstanding in this game, as usual, posting a triple-double with 24 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists. The problem, however, was that James played 45 minutes in this game and relied on heavily to be the team’s only spark. If Cleveland wants to succeed, LeBron’s minutes have to change and they need to either motivate the players they already have or make some moves.
A team cannot win an NBA Championship with one player and LeBron James himself has proved that on several occasions. Not one of the Cav’s bench players posted a positive plus/minus in this game and if they continue to rely on the same three players to carry them through every game, a repeat is unlikely.
Cleveland already has the playmaker LeBron said the team needs, and his name is Kyrie Irving. Irving’s role on this team is to do whatever LeBron tells him to do and what the team needs from him at this point is to bring out his inner point guard and start distributing the ball more. What the Cavs need are players who want to win because their’s seem to have lost motivation for whatever reason. James has a right to be frustrated with his team’s lack of heart, but is it time for the Cavs to make some changes?
[Read “Is Carmelo Anthony for Kevin Love a Fair Trade?” for more information about my solution for the Cav’s struggles]