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LeBron James speaks out after third Cavs loss in four games

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Luckily for the Cleveland Cavaliers, the NBA's regular season is 82 games long.

If the playoffs started now, they would be the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference with an identical record as the Brooklyn Nets.

Likely due to a few early-season injuries, Cleveland has struggled to show cohesiveness on the floor, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.

After taking down the Boston Celtics by the score of 102-99 in the season opener and then defeating the Milwaukee Bucks 116-97 in the next game, the Cavs fell 116-97 to the Orlando Magic in a shocker.

They got back on track with a 119-112 win over the rebuilding Chicago Bulls in their next game, but then surprisingly fell 112-107 to the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday before getting embarrassed 123-101 against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Cleveland Cavaliers v New Orleans Pelicans

ESPN Stats & Info reported that Saturday was Cleveland’s fourth-straight game in which they trailed at halftime, which is the longest such streak in the past three seasons.

Despite the early struggles, LeBron James is not concerned at all.

"I'm fine, and we're fine. It's a long season. It's way too [early to judge],” he said, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Brooklyn Nets

James believes that Derrick Rose’s injury has been detrimental to the team’s offensive attack.

"We're out two starting point guards," James said of Rose and Isaiah Thomas. "So I'm not overlooking what's going on. I wasn't overlooking if we had success. I'm not going to overlook if we had a couple games off. I'm not getting too high and getting too low. I'm an even-keel guy. I understand this is a long process. We played some different [lineups]. Like I told you guys, we played some crazy lineups that we haven't even played in practice. So we'll continue to get better. There's going to be some games where we don't look as good unfortunately, but that's all part of the process, and we just have to be patient with it until we can become full-strength."

LeBron noted that basketball is a game of ups and downs, but there have been too many low-points so far.

Cleveland Cavaliers v New Orleans Pelicans

"We have spurts," James said. "Defensively, we have spurts, and we know we can get to a point where we can sustain it a little bit longer than what we've done so far. So that's a positive. On the negative side, we've had more lulls than we've had spurts, and teams -- we always know every year -- when we have lulls, teams make us pay. It doesn't matter what they're shooting, it doesn't matter how they're playing, teams are going to make us pay, and it happened again tonight.”

As for those defensive issues? Head coach Tyronn Lue knows exactly what’s going on.

2017 NBA Finals - Game One

"Well, we got to do a better job taking the one-on-one challenge, first," Lue explained. "Guys are driving us, beating us on the catch, point of entry. But, I mean, a lot of this, if we're missing 3s and missing shots offensively and turning the basketball over, then we can't get back in transition. So better offense helps with our defense. Because if we're scoring, then we can get back and get set. We just got to be better.”

Taking on Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins like Cleveland did on Saturday would be a daunting task for any defense. But, that duo was able to absolutely dominate.

The Cavs will look to get back on track against the 1-3 Knicks at Quicken Loans Arena on Sunday.

Topics:
Kevin Love
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
Eastern Conference
NBA
Derrick Rose
Chicago Bulls
Derrick Rose
LeBron James

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