The Cleveland Cavaliers have dropped their first two games out of the gate following the All-Star break, and veteran leader Ricky Rubio isn’t afraid to call out what he’s seeing from his squad.
Simply, Rubio believes that the Cavs are not showing enough urgency to win at this stage in the regular season.
“Not really,” Rubio told Cleveland.com when asked if the team is showing the necessary urgency at this stage of the season. “We have to figure that out. We came out of All-Star break and this is where you start turning it on for the playoffs. It’s something we have to figure out sooner than later. Last night we played a really good game. Tonight, was one of the worst performances of the season. We take pride in our defense, we’re the No. 1 defense, and they scored almost 140 points in the game and 81 points at the half. That can’t happen. Need to be better.”
In the standings, the Cavs are still in a really good spot. They sit at the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference with a two-game lead over the new-look Brooklyn Nets.
But if the Cavs want to make any real noise in the playoffs, they’re going to have to figure out the cause for their lack of urgency.
Their first game after the All-Star break got off the right foot, as the Cavs led the Denver Nuggets late in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, they ended up letting go of the lead with just a few minutes remaining and ultimately lost 115-109.
Youngster Evan Mobley dominated in the matchup. He led the way for the Cavs with 31 points and added nine boards.
It was a disappointing loss, but it wasn’t necessarily disturbing. After all, the Nuggets are the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.
The following game against the Atlanta Hawks was quite disturbing. The Cavs seemed uninterested and disengaged for much of the night, and the game was essentially out of reach at halftime.
The Cavs will next take the court on Sunday against the Toronto Raptors. Hopefully, Rubio’s teammates hear his words and get their minds right to make sure that their losing streak comes to an end.
Following Sunday’s game, the Cavs will have a couple days off before facing the first-place Boston Celtics on the road. That game will surely be a test of whether or not the Cavs understand the true weight of the moment.