LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers showcased their worst defensive effort of the season on Saturday, giving up 148 points to the Oklahoma City Thunder at home. After losing seven of their last 10 games, James reaffirmed the team’s thinking must be on the present day rather than the postseason in April.
“Playoffs? We can’t even start thinking about that, not the way we’re playing right now,” James said. “We could easily get bounced early in the playoffs if they started next weekend. Haven’t even began thinking about the postseason.”
James, who’s in his 15th NBA season and fourth straight with Cleveland, was clearly frustrated with his team’s performance in Saturday’s contest.
“I’ve never in my basketball life gave up 148 points, not even probably playing video games,” James said. “They got everything that they wanted. Inside, outside — they had it moving. … It’s just a really bad, really bad loss on our part.”
For the Cavaliers and James, receiving a top-notch effort from the best player in the world has to be first and foremost. In the Cavs’ first 45 games, that hasn’t been the case. James is having one of his worst defensive seasons in quite some time, and his teammates are sure to follow as long as he stays the course.
James didn’t give a great defensive effort in the team’s game against the Thunder on Saturday, nor did he the game before against Orlando or on Monday against Golden State. On offense, he’s scored a combined 33 points on 33 shots the past two games.
For Cleveland, everything starts with James. However, just like we saw around this time last season, things have yet to start at all for basketball in Ohio.