After another loss to a bad team in Utah on the Cavaliers three-game road trip that ended in three losses, LeBron James was not mincing words about the Cavs play during their West coast swing. From The Athletic:
“The trip was trash,” LeBron James said. “We went 0-3. It’s a trash trip.”
He’s not wrong. A loss to the Warriors is certainly acceptable, especially on the road. Two straight losses to the Kings and Jazz? Less acceptable. Both teams are terrible, and the Jazz had lost eight of 10 games coming into Saturday’s matchup.
The problem for the Cavaliers is that it doesn’t get any easier moving forward. They’ve had the easiest schedule in the league so far, and after a brief respite at home against Portland, they go on another road trip. This one will be five games and feature a home game against the Warriors on the back end.
The point is, it’s a bad time to be slumping just as things get difficult, but it does feel to some extent that the team’s on-court play reflects that they’re just biding their time until Isaiah Thomas returns. It’s the part of the season where the grind starts to wear players down, and the Cavs in particular are famously awful at focusing in the regular season.
Ultimately, they do just need to tread water until they get healthy, but once they’re whole, they need to play hard to figure out who they are heading into the playoffs. We’ll see if they muster the effort.