Limping to the end of the regular season, the Cavaliers went into Chicago with plenty to play for a needing a win in the worst way, and come out of it with loss to a Bulls team that had nothing to play for. The Cavs hadn’t played since Monday, had lost two in a row and were going up against a sub .500 team who’ is currently on the outside looking in, in the sad sack East. So the Cavs should have gone into their house and run them out of the gym. But they didn’t. So instead of playing some of their best basketball when it matters most, they’re playing some of their worst.
You might say, they’re the Cavs. They’ve been in trouble in the past. They’ve pushed their adversity in the past; so they deserve the benefit of the doubt. They’re fine. But this is different. They’re obviously not fine. Not if LeBron James is saying, quote, “we’re in a bad spot.”
Not if he’s rolling out and doing his post game presser before Ty Lue, something he never does. And bouncing as quickly as he did last night. They’re not fine if instead of ramping up and dialing in for the playoffs, they’re having late season meetings like they did after last night’s game.
And they’re not fine if Kyrie Irving is going out of his way to tell people now is not the time to panic. Actually, now would be a great time to panic. The Cavs have lost 5 of 7. And they’re 6-10 in March; that’s the first time LeBron has experienced a double digit loss total in a month since November of 2003, his first full month as a pro. So now would be a perfect time to panic. Find it, and jump on it with both feet.
LeBron is clearly frustrated. And concerned. And he should be. And if his teammates are going to just stand around and wait for him to hulk out, get them all on his back and carry them to another ring, they’ve got another thing coming to them. They still have LeBron, who may still have another gear. Maybe.
And that may still be enough to get them out of the East. But they’re not beating Golden State or anyone else who comes out of the west, playing the way they are. Not when they’re one of the worst defensive teams in the league, they’re not.
There’s always all that talk about how Golden State has crazy firepower. And they do, but their latest run has been fueled by their play on the other end of the court. The Cavs on the other hand, can’t guard anyone right now. And if they can’t get stops in the playoffs, they have no shot.
Kyrie Irving was saying, real “motherbleepers” aren’t about one ring. They’re about 2 or 3 or 4. Unless they’re supporting cast pulls its collective head out, Kyrie, you’ll be sitting on one for a while, because you aren’t winning another playing 2 on 5.
LeBron said it best. We’re in a bad spot. And we don’t have a lot of time. Yes. And yes. And I’d add to that, now would be an awesome time to panic.