Cleveland Cavaliers players said they had lost faith in the team before a pair of recent trades, according to a report from Chris Haynes of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland.
A six-game losing streak in early January dropped the Cavaliers to 19-20 but the team had won five consecutive games entering Sunday's matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
In December, a report surfaced regarding the team's concern about coach David Blatt and his ability to reach the team.
Haynes reports that some players realized that the team "wasn't equipped to go any further than the second round, if that" before trades that landed guards J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert and center Timofey Mozgov.
From the report:
Under the condition of anonymity, some Cavs players admitted that they had lost faith because of the team's lack of depth. A handful of players said they came to realize the roster, as it was constructed before the trades, wasn't equipped to go any further than the second round, if that.
One player said the frustration of an "unbalanced roster probably contributed" to the players' poor body language and effort level. Another said "it was never Coach [David] Blatt's fault."
The consensus was that their confidence had faltered considerably more because of the shallowness of the team's reserve talent than Blatt.
Over nine games with Cleveland, Smith has averaged 15.3 points on 43.2 percent shooting, while Mozgov has averaged 10.8 points and 9.4 rebounds in eight games.
Shumpert scored eight points over 10 minutes in his Cavaliers debut on Friday night against the Charlotte Hornets.
Cleveland currently sits in fifth place in the Eastern Conference at 24-20.