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Cavs' Players Upset With LeBron James for Slowing Down Ball Movement & Hunting for Assists

Yash Matange
983   //    14 Jan 2018, 13:22 IST

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics
Is James really at fault for the team's performance or is he just a scapegoat?

What's the story?

Several Cleveland Cavaliers' players are unhappy with LeBron James for slowing down ball movement and only making a pass when he believes he could record an assist off of it.

In case you didn't know

The Cavaliers have lost their last three games, four of their last five and are 3-7 in their last 10 games. A huge reason for that is their defense, which is ranked 29th in the league in efficiency

Heart of the matter

After the team's embarrassing 34-point loss to the Toronto Raptors up north, Joe Vardon of the reported: "have grumbled that James has slowed the ball movement, holding on to the ball until he sees an 'assist' pass, rather than moving it quickly."

That's not it. Vardon further adds that: "Players are grumbling about Lue’s lineups, wondering if Thompson should start and if Channing Frye should play more."

The Raptors' loss was the team's second successive loss by more than 25 points, after losing their previous game in Minnesota by 28. Both times, the Cavaliers allowed the opposition to score more than 127 points.

While the grievances came out through reports, head coach Tyronn Lue was quite open about what needs to change for the team to play better consistently: "everyone on the same page, and if guys have agendas, we've got to get rid of our agendas and play the right way," per Vardon.

James is easily the best player on the team and also the one with the highest basketball IQ. This is what he had to say in his defense: "I just like playing ball the right way, getting guys involved and winning the game also."

What's next?

The team needs to get their act together. There is already a lot of talk about their 2-4 start to their New Year and to make matters worse, their next contest is on Monday night against the reigning champions, the Golden State Warriors.

Author's take

Winning covers your faults and losing magnifies them. These are faults which would ideally not be reported if the team was winning. The team should have no issue with James hunting for assists if they are doing their job but a lot of the role players on the team are having among their worst seasons of their career with respect to points and efficiency.

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