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Loss to Washington Wizards hasn't dampened LeBron James' outlook on Cleveland Cavaliers

From NBA media reports

Things couldn’t have gotten much lower for the Cleveland Cavaliers than they did in January. A 6-8 record, defensive lapses and a general malaise were hallmarks of the on-court performance, all while star forward LeBron James did the heavy lifting. It didn’t get much better for Cleveland to open February until the trade deadline on Feb. 8, when a roster remodel helped spark a four-game win streak.

Although Cleveland lost to the Washington Wizards last night to end that run, there is no denying both James and the Cavs are playing with a renewed focus and spark. Since Feb. 8, the Cavs are 24th in Defensive Rating (they’re 28th overall this season) and second in Offensive Rating and True Shooting percentage.

After last night’s defeat, Joe Vardon of caught up with the Cavs and James, who says he can see some true potential in the remade Cavs:

This was the first time in those five games that the Cavs lost — their first defeat since George Hill, Rodney Hood, Jordan Clarkson, and Larry Nance Jr., joined the team in trades Feb. 8.

“I think we played well tonight, even though we lost,” James said. “I hate losing, obviously, but I think the way we played, the way we shared the ball. Defensively, we were flying around as well and those guys, they just played better than us tonight.

But James won’t trace his own personal rebirth to the trades.

“I don’t agree with that,” James said. “I just think that I re-focused myself. Before the deadline happened, before the trades happened, I re-focused myself to understand that I’m the leader of this team and I have to be mentally sharp and mentally strong throughout anything. Even before the trade, I planned on us having that team for the rest of the season. That was just my mindset and you saw that in the Minnesota game. We hadn’t made the trades then and in the Minnesota game, I just started to change my mindset. That’s just who I am.”

“Where I am now, I think we can be really good,” James said. “Like I said, we got 20-plus games left to try to figure it out. I think if we can do that, we continue what we’re on now, then we’ll be OK.”

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