Sportress of Blogitude

LeBron James: It’s not ‘Armageddon’ but Cavs ‘need to play better’

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LeBron James did his best on Thursday to downplay the team’s current two-game losing streak. But he also acknowledged that if the team is to reach the heights of success expected of them, it’s going to take hard work and better play.

“I’m not sitting up here saying it’s Armageddon or anything like that,” James said at shootaround Thursday ahead of the Cavs’ match-up with the Milwaukee Bucks, via ESPN. “But we need to play better ball. Until we own that, we won’t get better.”

James praised Blatt for canceling Wednesday’s practice so the team could watch some game film and perhaps glean from it how they blew a 13-point second-half lead in Tuesday’s 104-99 losing effort to the Detroit Pistons.

James has been especially vocal of late regarding where the Cavaliers stand at this early juncture of the season. He said earlier this week that the Cavs are “too nice” on the court and lack the hunger of the defending NBA champion Golden State Nuggets.

Reinforcing what he suggested before the season even started when he said the team would not be able to play at a high level early on in the season due to injuries and other issues, James noted the Cavaliers haven’t had their full compliment of players so far this season.

“It’s still been challenging because I look around the league, we’re the only team that hasn’t kind of had our whole team just yet,” he said, lamenting the absences of Kyrie Irving and Iman Shumpert. “… We need to come out and play with a little bit more sense of urgency.”

James arguably is taking this season as personally as he has any other in his career. He suggested earlier this week that if the team doesn’t achieve greatness, he’s failed as its leader. Given the squad is tied with the Chicago Bulls for the best record in the Eastern Conference at 9-3, there’s obviously no reason to panic, despite the overwrought doom and gloom pervading the team.