The finger-pointing in Cleveland won't subside anytime soon. Not with the Cavaliers still stuck in their post-Christmas spiral and the Feb. 8 trade deadline looming. But where things go from here for all involved is anyone's guess, as LeBron James made clear in the wake of their latest setback over the weekend.
Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue, in the crosshairs himself, has vowed not to change his lineup or upset the order of things any more than has already been done during these tumultuous times for the three-time defending Eastern Conference champions. If you are searching for easy answers, as Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com explains, there simply are none:
The Cavs have won just three times in 12 games since Christmas, and are the NBA's worst defensive team and 23rd-ranked offense during that stretch. They play the Spurs in San Antonio on Tuesday.
"I just didn't want to," Lue said. "Looking at film and what we're trying to do, it's not the best thing right now."
Lue is loathe to make any lineup changes while the team is losing so that any one player doesn't become the scapegoat. Fans must consider Lue's thinking when taking in what he said when asked to defend his decision to stay the course.
"It's the same group we won 18 out of 19 with also," Lue said. "We've just got to play better. We've got to play better, we've got to be sharper and that's what we continue to keep working on. It's the same team that won 18 out of 19 and 13 in a row."
This of course is, at some level, entirely incorrect. The Cavs won all those games in November and December with Isaiah Thomas, Tristan Thompson, and Derrick Rose in street clothes.
Vardon also points out that during the Cavs' win streak, Iman Shumpert ran the point to start things while Jose Calderon did so at the end of the run. Channing Frye and rookie Cedi Osman were both playing more at that time, as was Kyle Korver, too. Korver as well was spending time in the lineup with James more and Kevin Love's shot was more on track as well.
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