While LeBron James lit into his teammates, each one stood silently. James knows the process of bringing aboard an All-Star player like Isaiah Thomas following seven months of rehabbing, and he understands the chemistry needed to rejuvenate the team following the departure of Kyrie Irving.
However, he was infuriated by the lack of precision and drive in Thursday night’s blowout loss to the Toronto Raptors. The huge loss was the second straight lopsided loss suffered by the Cavaliers.
After he spoke to his teammates, he said that everyone must be held accountable.
Nothing should be taken away from the performance of the Raptors, as DeMar DeRozan is playing well and the team is expected to give both the Cavaliers and Boston Celtics a run for the Eastern Conference title in May.
However, Cleveland lacked defensive pressure against an opponent that was playing without two starters in Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka.
Coming off its 28-point embarrassing loss to the Timberwolves, the 34-point loss to Toronto was even worse.
Thomas has returned successfully from his hip surgery, but still is trying to find his rhythm on offense shooting a poor 5-for-23 over his past two outings. His teammates have faith he will find his way, yet are concerned he is not playing aggressive enough as he has passed at times when teammates were expecting him to shoot.
Trade activity has started as the trade deadline approaches, and Cleveland could perhaps play a big role. The Cavaliers are holding two draft picks in the first round, including one from the Nets through the trade with Irving, but a deal to move that pick and possibly Tristan Thompson for the right deal has not surfaced.
Rumors have swirled around a possible deal for DeAndre Jordan the rebounding machine with the Los Angeles Clippers.
No quick remedy for the Cavaliers exists at this point with just four weeks remaining before the trade deadline arrives.
Agendas might be the answer. James was asked about players having different agendas, which coach Tyronn Lue spoke of in his postgame interview, which brought up question of possible locker room issues.
Cleveland has won just two of its last eight games, and a youth movement is needed along with more defense for both inside and on the wing.
His teammates have heard his words, now James hopes he sees a positive reaction to them.