Friday night’s 111-105 loss to Dwyane Wade and the Bulls marked Cleveland’s third straight loss, and as LeBron James made clear, any mental vacation he and the Cavaliers might’ve still been enjoying is over.
“We’ve got to get out of the honeymoon stage,” James said, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.
James’ frustration comes after another turnover-heavy game for Cleveland as a whole.
The most concerning statistic for James was the 78 points Cleveland allowed Chicago to score in the paint.
“You’ve got to play the game the right way. You’ve got to battle every night like we ain’t won nothing. Last year is last year, and after ring night, it’s over with. Now it’s a new season and everybody is gunning for us every night and we have to understand that. The honeymoon stage is over and it’s time to play some real ball and be physical, especially in the trenches. Giving up 78 points is ridiculous. We’ve got to man up. Everybody.”
A similarly concerning number for Cleveland on Friday night was 16-the number of boards the Cavaliers were out-rebounded by in Chicago.
Tristan Thompson and Cleveland frontcourt were killed out-positioned and out-muscled in the paint by Chicago’s Taj Gibson, Jimmy Butler and…Rajon Rondo.
The Bulls continued to attack the boards throughout the game and their activity was pivotal in fending off a late push by Cleveland led by James.
Cleveland’s next game is Monday against the Raptors in Toronto.