The defending champion Cavaliers are struggling, which is pretty obvious. Not only have they lost three straight, but they've gone 7-11 in their last 18 games. The latest loss came Thursday night against the Bulls, and it may have been a tipping point.
After the game, according to Cleveland.com, only four players remained in the locker room to field questions: Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, Deron Williams and James Jones. The biggest star, Irving, provided some hints as to why there weren't many players left, saying, "We're taking steps forward. After the game we took a step forward."
What's that step forward?
"Just in a way that a team should take a step forward when we're in a rut," he responded. "I'll leave it at that."
So while Irving didn't explicitly explain what went on, he hinted at the team having a meeting. This is a strategy coach Tyronn Lue used last season after a bad loss to the Nets. He later credited that meeting for helping to turn the season around.
Here's what Lue said in May of last season about the meeting:
"I just think the Big Three sitting down and getting on the same page of understanding what they need from each other on a nightly basis and understanding that they have to trust each other and also trust the team. We had that talk in front of everyone and everyone kind of gave their opinion and kind of talked about what they expected and what we needed to do better. I think from that day on, we kind of took off and we became a better team."
Can a similar forum have the same effect in 2017? Lue, along with the rest of the team, probably hopes so. LeBron James, who quickly left the locker room and talked before the coach (which is rare), was candid by saying, "We're just in a bad spot right now."
James continued: "I'm never one to shortcut the process. It's all part of the process. It's what I live by, that's how I built my career, so tomorrow's another day. It's another opportunity, but we've got some work to do. We don't have a lot of time."