In a cryptic remark after the Cavaliers were blown out 133-99 in Toronto on Thursday, Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue blamed players’ “agendas” for the slump in which the team is currently mired.
“We’ve got to be better,” Lue said, per ESPN. “We know that. But until we play better defensively, I think offensively sharing the basketball, everyone on the same page — and if guys have agendas, we’ve got to get rid of our agendas and play the right way.”
Following an 18-1 run from Nov. 11 through Dec. 17, the Cavs have lost seven of 10 games. The 34-point loss to the Raptors follows a 127-99 defeat at Minnesota on Monday. It also marks the third game in row in which Cleveland has allowed 127 or more points.
While Cavaliers players understand there are things that need to be fixed, they don’t quite get what Lue meant by “agendas”. Lue didn’t offer any clarity, either, saying in an equally vague response he meant “just what I said.”
Asked if Lue may have been referring to him, LeBron James said, “I mean, I would hope not. I don’t [have an agenda]. At this point, three and a half, four years in this thing, I hope not. I don’t know. I don’t have one. I just want to win. I just like playing ball the right way, getting guys involved and winning the game also. I don’t.”
Kevin Love also didn’t understand where Lue was coming from, saying, “If there are agendas, I don’t see it. But I’m sure whoever he’s speaking of or speaking to with that, he’ll address it, as we usually do. So, I don’t know.”
While murky in its meaning, Lue’s “agenda” comment may light a fire under some Cavs’ players.
“Maybe it’s meant to be a wake-up call,” said reserve Channing Frye. “My bags have been half-packed since I got here. This is meant to be a championship group. We have to understand, if we’re not helping move everything in a championship direction, there could be changes.”
Midseason slumps are nothing new to LeBron. He’s been through many of them with both the Cavs and the Heat, and he’s ended up in the NBA Finals seven straight seasons and won three titles during that stretch.
Still, something feels different about this one.
No team has gone on to win a title after losing back-to-back games by at least 25 points during the season.
via @EliasSports https://t.co/DVjAabe86c
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 12, 2018