Kevin Love admits it’s going to be a “growth year” for the Cleveland Cavaliers after he was left alarmed by their latest defeat in the NBA.
The Cavs are still without a win after Sunday’s 133-111 loss to the Atlanta Hawks which left them 0-3 for the start of the season.
Losing LeBron James to the Los Angeles Lakers in the off-season has left head coach Tyronn Lue relying on his rookie stars.
But Love, who buried 16 points and 17 rebounds in Monday’s loss, has noticed some troubling trends.
Cleveland’s issues appear to be far deeper than no longer having the game’s best player. The Cavs aren’t playing professional level defense and have given up 116, 131 and 133 points in their first three games.
“We didn’t expect to be 0-3,” said Love. “The last three quarters were pretty damn alarming. Opening Night at home we expect to play better. We expect to play better in front of our home crowd. I don’t know if alarming is the right word but it sure sounds right, just with our effort level.
“Our effort level wasn’t there, especially defending the three-point line. It’s just going to be a growth year for us. We’ve got to get better. They were just gunning and we weren’t getting into them, we weren’t physical.”
Cavs veteran Tristan Thompson called the performance “embarrassing”, adding that their fans “would never expect for us to come out like that, especially at home”.
“No disrespect to the Hawks, but those guys, their mentality this season is for their young guys to get reps, work on their game and just go out there and compete obviously at a high level, but understand it’s not about the wins and losses, for them it’s about the long journey to get back to where they want to get to.
“Whoever’s in the game has got to be ready to play, take the scout serious and understand what we’re doing. If you don’t know what to do, ask questions. But don’t go out there and say, ‘I know. I know,’ and then you come out there and get your a** whupped.
NBA Fixtures (Monday, October 22)
- Magic @ Celtics
- Hornets @ Raptors
- NY Knicks @ Bucks
- Pacers @ Timberwolves
- Bulls @ Mavericks
- Grizzlies @ Jazz
- Wizards @ Trail Blazers
- Suns @ Warriors
- Spurs @ Lakers
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