With the Cleveland Cavaliers establishing themselves as one of the few teams in the league that will be contending for the NBA title, losses can be magnified to the nth degree. Plays and trends are sometimes overanalyzed and individual players can be questioned, whether it be about effort or abilities.
For the Cavs, that type of reaction seemingly happens after every single loss. They've had multiple players-only meetings already and the postgame sound bites are constantly played and overreacted to.
The latter was the case after last night's 99-97 loss to the Toronto Raptors when LeBron James questioned the Cavs mental toughness following the game, according to cleveland.com.
From Cleveland.com's Chris Haynes:
The Cavaliers were in control for the first 36 minutes until they collapsed in the fourth quarter and were beaten by Kyle Lowry's 43 points. James put it another way. He said they were beaten up mentally.
"When you lose the way we lost, mental mistake after mental mistake, those hurt more than anything when you can play better mentally," he said. "People get so caught up on the physical side of the game. We lack mental right now, and we've got to continue to get better with it."
The Cavs held a double-digit lead at multiple times in the second half, including a 14-point lead late in the third quarter. Those leads were lost late in the game thanks to some lackadaisical plays from the Cavs, including a (questionable) flagrant foul from Matthew Dellavedova and a technical foul from Iman Shumpert that helped the Raptors come back and win the game.