Random dribbles following the Cleveland Cavaliers embarrassment of a 114-95 loss to the visiting New York Knicks on Sunday.
1. Man, I don't even know what to say.
2. Let's start with this -- the Cavaliers have lost three of four. One of those losses was to the Knicks. Another was to the Brooklyn Nets. And the game the Cavs won, against the Chicago Bulls, wasn't exactly all that impressive.
3. Yuck, yuck and double yuck.
4. How's that for some insider analysis? But when it comes to these Cavs, it's hard to know where to begin, what is causing the issues, and how to figure out the solutions. Everything, it seems, is a mess.
5. LeBron James keeps pointing out how it's only October, and that is indeed the truth. But the fans don't want to hear it. If James doesn't care about October, then maybe he should sit out until January and take a pay cut.
6. Of course, James is hardly the problem. He's been the one constant bright spot. Though I do think he looks a step slower these days. But guess what? He's 32 years old and turns 33 at the end of December. If he's not as athletic as the LeBron of 2012, well, these things happen.
7. But again, James isn't an issue. The ENTIRE TEAM is the issue. The Cavs have zero chemistry. James is right when he says these things take time. And I highly doubt the Detroit Pistons will win the Central Division. But the Pistons are coming off back-to-back road wins over the Los Angeles Clippers and (drumroll, please) Golden State Warriors.
8. So it's true that the NBA can seem very upside-down at this time of year. As for the Cavs, well, they're just down.
9. Tyronn Lue told reporters the loss was "unacceptable." Beyond that, the Cavs coach provided little insight or answers. For the first time in his career, Lue is coming under fire from the fans and media.
10. Lue keeps talking about the defense, and it is indeed a major problem. But at some point, the coaching staff needs to take some of the blame. The Cavs don't get back in transition, and if they do, they sure don't fight to push opponents out of their favorite spots and comfort zones. The coaches can't see that?
11. Opponents are telling their big men to check down the court first for long outlet passes -- as the Cavs have done a horrendous job of keeping someone back to defend against the fast break. If that doesn't work, the game plan is to swing the ball quickly around the perimeter.
12. The Cavs, it is said, are too lazy to play position defense. They would rather go for steals. They look like they don't care. They look like they're waiting for January. And frankly, who can blame them when the team leader keeps saying October doesn't matter?
13. Again, January could get here and we could indeed forget that these losses ever existed. At least, the Cavs had better hope that's the case. Right now, I'm not so sure about the chemistry and construction of the current roster. It looks old, out of sorts, unmotivated.
14. Yes, that could change. It SHOULD change. But all you can go on is right now, and right now, Cavs basketball is U-G-L-Y, and it ain't got no alibi.
15. Kevin Love wasn't bad, finishing with 22 points and 11 rebounds. LeBron went for 16 points, 10 boards and seven assists. He actually looked human. When that happens, oh man, these Cavs are apparently in real trouble.
16. James at least admitted the defense stinks. "Guys are scoring at will against us," he told reporters, and my gosh, he's right about that one.
17. Tristan Thompson finished with one point and ZERO rebounds in 19 minutes. What on earth was that? Thompson also got eaten alive by the Knicks big men. He looks like his mind is somewhere else. Maybe it's not, but he sure hasn't been nearly as productive lately.
18. Kyle Korver (13 points) has been the best player off the bench, and he's 36 years old. Meanwhile, J.R. Smith (11 points) is just sort of running around out there, giving the Cavs very little.
19. The Cavs and Warriors were expected to waltz to their fourth straight meeting in the Finals. It was supposed to be a two-team league. Everyone else was supposed to be happy just to play for third and fourth place. Funny, but it never really works out that way.
20. The Indiana Pacers come to Cleveland on Wednesday, and they have been playing well. They beat the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday. They have shown fight and great passion. They have a chip on their shoulder. The Cavs need to start approaching the season like the undermanned Pacers.
21. Yes, it's only October. But if you're the Cavs, it's time to start thinking that it's never too soon to get your act together.