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LeBron James on Cavs after loss to Spurs: ‘It’s a delicate time right now’

LeBron James appears to be taking a less confrontational approach to motivating his teammates after Monday’s disheartening 103-74 blowout loss to the San Antonio Spurs.

The Cleveland Cavaliers superstar, known for calling teammates out — whether literally or cryptically — seems to recognize that the team’s recent struggles has left players demoralized and in something of a fragile state. Recognizing the situation as such, James is being much more cautious in discussing it.

“It’s a delicate time right now for our team,” James said after Monday’s loss, via ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne “A lot of people talking … guys in the locker room. I’m not saying it’s for the bad. We’ve got a couple guys that’s shown leadership, some guys that’s been in the fray before that’s giving their opinions.

“I’ve learned over the season there’s a time and place for it. Certain situations. I kind of wait for the right time … So my time will come.”

Monday’s loss to the Spurs capped a miserable road trip where the Cavaliers (47-26) lost four of six games and saw themselves overtaken by the Boston Celtics (48-26) as the Eastern Conference’s top seed.

Shelburne’s report notes that an “obviously-emotional” Kyrie Irving was being counseled quietly by James in the locker room as reporters exited. James hasn’t hesitated in the past about publicly discussing his relationship with Irving, so it will be interesting to see if James divulges the nature of their conversation.

Despite the myriad issues the Cavaliers are dealing with at this point of the season — especially since the All-Star Break (8-10) — there remains plenty of time to right the ship and for players to get on the same page before the postseason.

Whether or not that actually happens, though, might be another story. Still, it would be foolish to believe James doesn’t have the ability to inspire his teammates down the stretch.

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