Following a disappointing 126-113 road loss to the Denver Nuggets last night, LeBron James wondered aloud if the Cleveland Cavaliers are tough enough.
Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue said the defending NBA champs are treating games like a “show” instead of a “competition.”
Denver outscored Cleveland 70-30 in the paint area.
Per the Akron Beacon Journal:
“They just kicked our butt in every facet of the game,” he said. “Coaches we gotta be better, but players they gotta be better, too. They gotta be tougher. Gotta be more urgency, and it comes from all of us. They got 3-point shots, they got points in the paint, they got offensive rebounds. They got, I mean, whatever they wanted. And we gotta be better than that. It starts with the coaches, but the players gotta look at themselves in the mirror, too. They gotta be more physical, they gotta bring a physical presence and they’ve got to take pride in guarding their man.”
“I knew they were going to play well against us. I know our team and the way we are,” Lue said. “Sometimes you have to understand it’s not a show, it’s a competition. We get to LA and play teams like this, we consider it a show instead of a competition. And you get down early, teams get confidence and now you have to fight and struggle to win the game.”
“It ain’t about a group, it’s about individuals,” James said. “We’ve got to be more, just do more. It ain’t about no group. You can’t preach toughness, you’ve got to have it.” […] Asked how he played defensively, James said, “Who, me? Personally? I had opportunities where I could have been better. Um, one thing about it, I always bring toughness to the game, I know that. That’s for sure.”