Cavs Rumors: Several Cavs Players Complained About Isaiah Thomas’ Poor Defense

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The Cleveland Cavaliersloss to the Golden State Warriors on Monday night marked another contest in which the Cavaliers’ defense struggled to stop an opponent throughout the game. Some of those Cavaliers spoke after the game and were reportedly critical of teammate Isaiah Thomas‘ defensive effort.

In the loss to the Warriors, Thomas played 32 minutes and finished with a plus-minus mark of minus-nine. The plus-minus rating, according to, is defined as “a box score-based metric for evaluating basketball players’ quality and contribution to the team.”

Two of three players who supposedly complained actually had a worse number than Thomas. LeBron James played 36 minutes and ended the night at minus-14, while Kevin Love‘s time on the court of nearly 27 minutes saw him finish the night at minus-12. Dwyane Wade offered the strongest argument by playing 25 minutes and ending with a minus-three number in that category.

Thomas’ ability on the defensive side of the ball wasn’t why the Cavaliers acquired him last August to replace Kyrie Irving. At the time of the deal, questions were raised about how Thomas would be able to defend the NBA’s top point guards. Irving’s defensive skills had also come under scrutiny during his time with the Cavaliers.

Of course, the source of this rumor should be taken with a grain of salt, since Stewart is the executive producer of a Boston-based radio show and podcast. Not only are the Boston Celtics the Cavaliers’ main rival in the Eastern Conference, but the Boston media has been notorious in the past for creating controversy on its own.

Thomas and the remainder of the Cavaliers will have a chance to improve their defense on Thursday night, when they host the Orlando Magic in a game that will tip off just after 7 p.m.

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Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavaliers Nation in the months ahead.