It’s February now and the Cleveland Cavaliers have sailed past that annual period of general uncertainty about their focus and have entered the dangerous waters of general, everyday chaos.
Tuesday night was the latest chapter in what has now become a worrying period of play for the defending Eastern Conference champions. The Cavs took an early 21-point lead and things looked like they might be looking up for the first time in a long time, but then coach Tyronn Lue left the game due to an undisclosed illness and the Cavs fell apart in the fourth quarter of what became 116-98 blowout loss to the Orlando Magic.
The Cavs’ loss dropped them to 6-13 over the last 19 games and nothing seems to be going right. Isaiah Thomas, who has struggled since returning from injury, certainly seems to think he knows part of why Cleveland’s had issues as a team. After the Magic loss on Tuesday night he was highly critical of his team, saying Cavaliers players “go our separate ways” when adversity strikes.
That’s a pretty damning indictment of what’s going on in Cleveland these days, but it’s not the first time Thomas has been critical of the work ethic and focus in Cleveland.
Problem is, he continues to be a huge area of concern for the team, both defensively and on the offensive end of the floor. He’s now shooting 35 percent on the season, albeit still a small sample size relative to the rest of the league, but it’s not a great sign that he’s improving.
If the Cavaliers can’t find a spark somewhere, and if LeBron turmoil continues to happen daily it’s tough to see this team doing much of anything come the postseason. Maybe things change and Thomas will stop quoting Journey songs soon enough, but things are looking bleak on the western end of Lake Erie as the dead of winter sets in.