The Cleveland Cavaliers have lost 12 straight games, and following their blowout loss to the Houston Rockets, veteran big man Tristan Thompson called out his teammates for their lack of effort and success.
“How many games has it been? At this point, we’ve taught everything we can teach,” Thompson said. “Now it’s up to the players to come out there and just do their job. Do your job. Simple. Our players didn’t do their job.”
Considering Thompson’s words, it’s quite clear that he was specifically calling out younger teammates such as rookie point guard Collin Sexton and second-year forward Cedi Osman.
Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com seemed to confirm that at least some of Thompson’s frustration was directed at Osman due to a play that took place early in Friday’s game.
“In the first quarter, Thompson chastised Osman for failing to pick up Capela in transition,” Fedor wrote. “It was Thompson’s man, of course, but he was trailing the play so he pointed to Osman and shouted instructions at him, putting trust in one of his teammates to pick up the slack. The break ended in a Capela dunk, which then led to a Cavaliers timeout and a teaching moment. Thompson raised his palms and discussed the breakdown with Osman for most of the timeout.”
While his teammates certainly deserve criticism, one thing Thompson may want to consider is looking at his own play. In the 141-113 loss to the Rockets on Friday, Thompson finished the night with just six points, five rebounds, and two steals. While he did only play 24 minutes, it’s still a pretty disappointing showing from a player that was getting some All-Star buzz earlier this season.
Regardless of Thompson’s performance last night, he is certainly right to call out his fellow teammates. No one had a particularly strong night, with the exception of center Ante Zizic, who finished the game with 18 points, eight rebounds, and two steals.
By now, it’s quite clear that the 2018-19 season for Thompson and the Cavs is going nowhere. Still, the Cavs can work to put forward a product on the court that their players and fans can be proud of. At the moment, they’re quite a ways away from accomplishing that goal.