LeBron James: Cavaliers not ready for the postseason
It’s probably seen as a good thing from LeBron James’ perspective that the Cleveland Cavaliers have 20 games remaining in the regular season. Because as he sees it, the squad is nowhere close to playing well enough to perform at a high level in the postseason.
James was clearly frustrated in the Cavs’ performance in Monday night’s sloppy, turnover-marred 106-103 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, a team that was missing four starters and dressed only eight players. After all, the Cavaliers should have been fresh coming off a day off and were riding a three-game winning streak and the team still managed to be down by as many as 14 points on their home court.
Any team of course can stumble and put up a dud of a game. But James just can’t believe the lapses he is still seeing out of the squad.
“I can sit up here and say that we’re a team that’s ready to start the playoffs tomorrow, but we’re not,” James said, via ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “We’re still learning. We still have things that happen on the court that just, that shouldn’t happen.”
James’ teammates seemed to concur to a certain extent with his blunt assessment, with Kevin Love saying the team “could have done a better job of respecting the game.”
Kyrie Irving echoed his teammates’ assessments, saying, “We just have to get better as a team preparing for anybody that is out there on the floor.”
James admitted afterward he was “fearful” of Monday’s game given that the match-up featured many elements of a so-called “trap game.” It turns out that may have been the case.
Despite the Cavaliers being in relative control of their playoff destiny as owners of the top spot in the Eastern Conference, James doesn’t seem to have much confidence in the team, a notion supported by his recent spate of posting cryptic tweets, not to mention telling quotes provided directly to the media without a filter.
All told, there just seems to be a strange vibe surrounding the Cavaliers this season, and it starts and ends with the recently quite mercurial James.