It hasn't been a good run of games for the Cleveland Cavaliers, as the team has only managed to win three of their past ten games, losing their past two games playoff contenders in very poor fashion.
The Cavaliers lost 127-99 against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night, and they followed it up with a loss to the Toronto Raptors last night at the Air Canada Center by an even worse scoreline of 133-99. LeBron James was the best performer against the Raptors with 26 points, three rebounds, one assist, one steal, four blocks, in 32 minutes and was 9-of-16 from the field.
It's been a terrible stretch of games for Cleveland, as they now find themselves 6.5 games behind the Boston Celtics at the top of the Eastern Conference, and 3.5 games behind the Raptors in second.
Speaking to ESPN after the loss to Toronto, Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue urged his players to put their own agendas aside and play better both offensively and defensively in order to control the game once more and stop this bad run of form.
He said: "We gotta be better. Until we play better defensively and offensively, until we share the basketball. And if guys have agendas, we've got to get rid of those agendas and play the right way."
James, on the other hand, was skeptical at the thought that any of his teammates could be playing for any reason other than the team's success.
The forward said: "I would hope not. I mean, come on. At this point? Three and a half, four years into this thing? I would hope not. I don't have (other agendas). I just want to win."
Kevin Love, who had had 10 points with nine rebounds, two assists and one turnover against the Raptors, said he was confused by Lue's remark too. He said: "It's my 10th year. We've got a lot of vets on this team. If there are agendas, I don't see it. But I'm sure whoever he's speaking of or speaking to with that, he'll address it, as we usually do. So, I don't know."
Isaiah Thomas, who scored just four points on 2-of-15 shots vs. the Raptors, offered a solution to turn things around. He said: "Play harder. Play with a sense of urgency. Put your pride aside. These last two games have been very tough for us, but we've got to look ourselves in the mirror and really buckle down as individuals.
"The biggest thing that I see we're not doing, we're not playing for each other right now, offensively and defensively. Defensively everybody's on an island playing defense by themselves. Offensively it's a lot of one-on-one, no ball movement. It's things we can fix, that's the good thing about it. We just have to do it, and we have to do it now. You can lose games, but you can't get blown out. With how good we really are, we can't allow these types of games to happen."
Maybe Lue is wrong in his judgement of his team and that they are just in a little bit of a slump at the moment, or perhaps he is right and the players themselves just don't want to admit that they're just looking to potentially boost their own market value, as the team is unlikely to go to their fourth NBA Finals in a row.