Isaiah Thomas: Cleveland Cavaliers 'go separate ways' when in-game adversity hits

Kristopher Nichols
February 8, 2018

LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers is seen on the court during the game against the Golden State Warriors on December 25, 2017 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California.

When he re-entered the game with 10:10 remaining in the fourth quarter, the Magic ran off 14 straight points to lead 108-92. "And that's just how I feel, and it looks like that as well. I mean, we continue to play like this, we're going to continue to lose".

Dwyane Wade banked a 3-pointer for Cleveland's only points of the first 7:25 of the fourth quarter.

Cleveland's lead reached 59-38 on James' layup with 5:48 left in the half before the attack started to slow.

J.R. Smith made three 3-pointers in the first four minutes to help the Cavaliers (30-22) take a 15-4 lead and they led by 21 points late in the first half.

Jonathon Simmons led the way for the Magic with 34 points, 22 of which came in the third quarter.

Assistant head coach Larry Drew took over for Lue with just over six minutes left in the second period on Tuesday night.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) reacts to a call in a game against the Orlando Magic during the second half at Amway Center. A lot of the problems can go back to the trade that sent Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics for a future draft pick and an injured Isaiah Thomas.

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Atlanta Hawks guard Kent Bazemore was another Cavs target, but he is also unlikely to be moved due to this contract, according to Sam Amick of USA Today.

The Cavs face the Minnesota Timberwolves next, back in Cleveland, who have already beaten Cleveland this season.

Just to further illustrate how deflating the loss was for the Cavaliers, note that it was only the fifth time since 2008 that a team end up losing a game despite torching the scoreboards with 43 points in the opening quarter, per Basketball Reference.

Doing so would make sense.

James reportedly backed former Cavs general manager David Griffin, but the team let him go last summer. That didn't turn out how the Cavs hoped, and it has hurt the team chemistry this season.

"I owe it to my teammates to finish the season out", he said.

However, Lebron's refusal to allow himself to be traded if the trade would basically set the Cavs up for the next several years with younger talent for Lebron to make better upon his return next season, then we must remind ourselves of the startling hypocrisy Lebron James and his agent demonstrated with the speech about Lebron coming back to guide the younger players to greatness. The Cavs were expected to acquire George Hill from the Sacramento Kings in a trade that never materialized. "If we're still serious about the season, then we've got to play some good ball at some point".

"We've put too much into the game every day".

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