The Cleveland Cavaliers are having a rough season so far. They own the league’s second-worst defense and have lost 10 of their last 14 games. Now, things reportedly reached a boiling point on Monday, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, when players, coaches and front office members held an “emotional team meeting.”
In that meeting, according to Woj, players challenged Kevin Love, who left Cleveland’s embarrassing 148-124 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday due to illness. He only played three minutes in that game and did not practice on Sunday. Players in the meeting pushed for head coach Tyronn Lue and general manager Koby Altman, who were both in the meeting, to hold Love accountable for leaving early and missing practice, according to ESPN.
The Cleveland Cavaliers held an emotional team meeting prior to Monday’s practice, where several players challenged the legitimacy of Kevin Love leaving OKC loss on Saturday ill and missing Sunday’s practice, league sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 23, 2018
In a locker room increasingly full of finger-pointing, Love defended himself and explained his side to teammates, coaches and management, sources said. At end of meeting, there was a sense with some that team had worked out some issues, but that ultimately remains to be seen.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) January 23, 2018
Cleveland is in trouble
The Cavaliers have had their fair share of problems this season. Chemistry took a long time to develop with eight new faces on the roster. Isaiah Thomas returned in the middle of the season, further disrupting anything Cleveland had going. Derrick Rose has been out with an ankle injury. Nobody is playing defense, and as good as the offense has been at times, the Cavaliers can’t stop anyone.
Now, things have fallen to finger-pointing and challenging an All-Star’s integrity. That is a recipe for disaster.
The Cavaliers have had their fair share of mid-season drama, but this is troublesome even by their standards. Cleveland had an awful defense last season, too, and still managed to reach the NBA Finals.
This time, the Cavs don’t even look close to championship form. And if things have devolved to calling out Love for leaving sick three minutes after the tip, there’s no telling how this one could end.