LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers acknowledge struggles, desirous to ‘flip this factor round’


WASHINGTON — Judging by the luggage underneath coach Tyronn Lue’s eyes, not everyone seems to be taking the Cleveland Cavaliers’ early-season slide calmly.

“Look at me,” Lue mentioned earlier than the morning shootaround previous to Friday evening’s sport towards the Washington Wizards (7 p.m. ET, ESPN). “I ain’t slept in days.”

Having misplaced 4 in a row and 5 of their previous six video games, Lue and his teaching workers have tried to show issues round schematically. Cavs celebrity LeBron James, in the meantime, isn’t letting the shedding streak have an effect on him spiritually.

“We’re definitely struggling right now, which is OK,” James mentioned Friday. “I felt that we would struggle at some point throughout the season. I think it’s surprising to all of us that it’s happening right now, but hey, it is what it is and it’s exciting to see how we can turn this thing around.”

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Despite report payrolls in the course of the previous a number of seasons and three straight journeys to the NBA Finals, seeing the Cavs journey over themselves within the common season is nothing new. They had been simply Four-7 of their final 11 regular-season video games earlier than final postseason, during which they reeled off 10 straight wins.

It’s simply the timing of the present hunch and its severity — Cleveland misplaced its previous three video games by a mixed 58 factors — that’s alarming. However, Lue would somewhat get the dangerous basketball out of the best way now and construct till April, somewhat than be as uneven as his groups have been up to now, he mentioned.

“I think it makes us better,” Lue mentioned. “I think going through it now early in the season, instead of going through it late when you want to hit your peak and playing great going into the playoffs. Right now, it’s a rough patch, but it’s no excuse. We have to be better and we will.”

James mentioned final week that he thinks the Cavs simply want one win to reset their season. Their subsequent probability comes Friday evening towards the Wizards (Four-Three), who could be 6-1 if not for blowing mbadive second-half leads towards the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns.

LeBron James mentioned the Cavs, who’ve misplaced 5 of their final six video games, have gotten to “figure out a way to motivate yourself to get back to that top level.” Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Washington, James mentioned, “will be very excited to play” Cleveland on Friday. James needs that very same sentiment out of his crew to badist get out of its rut.

“I think that it’s going to be challenging on the guys that’s been here the last few years to continue to try to motivate themselves to want to get back to the Finals,” James mentioned. “That’s all the time the difficult factor. When you’ve got performed it three straight years, or some guys two straight years, then complacency can typically creep in, or the quick summers or issues of that nature, otherwise you really feel like you possibly can flip it on if you wish to.

“Got to determine a option to encourage your self to get again to that high stage of sport. I do know the place my thoughts is. I’ve performed it seven straight years, so I understand how to get again into the movement of issues. I understand how to mentally put together myself for a protracted haul, so it will be difficult, however I feel we must be up for it. We nonetheless have a 30-point scorer, All-Star level guard that is coming quickly. That’s thrilling.”

Even earlier than Isaiah Thomas returns, the Cavs will get two different new faces within the rotation beginning Friday: Cedi Osman and Ante Zizic.

Lue, alongside together with his teaching workers, confirmed as much as shootaround an hour early to take the swingman and middle by the offense so they are going to be able to contribute within the absence of Iman Shumpert (knee) and Tristan Thompson (calf).

“We’re down a pair guys, in order that they’ll get a possibility, an opportunity to play a little bit bit,” Lue mentioned.

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