Chillin': LeBron, Cavs trying to thaw from mid-season freeze

Arnold Nichols
January 18, 2018

"It's been very challenging", James said after practice Wednesday.

Now that some of them have pointed out a worsening roster condition, the question of whether the Cavaliers' front office will grab the opportunity to somehow amend that with the upcoming trade deadline on February 8 has emerged. With an assurance that he'll stick around, the team has the juicy Brooklyn Nets' first-round draft pick to dangle in a potential trade to improve the team.

First: it shows that the Cavs' concerns about LeBron leaving are legitimate. Not only have they lost four in a row, but they are 3-9 over their last 12.

Furthermore, numerous wins were racked up against inferior opponents.

With reports from "sources" on the Cavs roster expressing confidentially to a few reporters that they have doubts the Cavs are fixable following Monday night's loss to Golden State, Lue didn't sound anxious following practice. But with the Cavaliers, Lakers and Rockets the only three teams that consistently come up in regards to where LeBron will play basketball next season - the Lakers remain the odds-on favorites. I typed it.I never thought I would type it, especially after the Cavs beat the Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals. Justin Holiday hit a career-high seven 3s and finished with 25 points in Chicago's third straight win.

The Cavaliers kept it rolling in the second quarter, and when halftime rolled around, they had a seven-point lead, 64-57. "In that situation, when we're not really scoring, we've got to execute a lot better". "Like our effort tonight".

Lue said he was encouraged by what he saw on film from the loss to the Warriors, and from the Cavs' last two games overall. "We've played them in the Finals three straight years and I guarantee you there was a moment like this in all three seasons - at least one, sometimes more".

After giving up 64 points over the game's first 24 minutes, the Warriors held the Cavaliers to 44 in the second half, including 17 in the decisive fourth quarter.

Thomas will need plenty of minutes on the floor before he gets back to his old self, and even more playing time before he can run this Cavs system the way head coach Tyronn Lue wants him to run it. It's not about the amount of shots, it's the amount of good shots.

The perceived inevitability of a lopsided series, should the Cavs and Warriors meet again in June, doesn't stem from a dominant and undeniable Warriors win on Monday, though.

The Celtics acquired Irving in late August after the star point guard requested a trade from the Cavaliers.

And with the trade deadline quickly approaching, such shakeup to the Cleveland roster could be coming sooner rather than later.

With the Cavs struggling on both ends of the court, including on offense which was their bread-and-butter, the organization and the players have to wonder whether they made the right decision to trade Irving.

That could also include an adjustment period that any sort of major trade would bring. (The Cavs) just don't have the answer.

"I'm not anticipating anything", Lue said before the Warriors game when asked about potentially accommodating new pieces into his rotation.

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