LeBron James: If playoffs started next weekend Cavs could 'easily get bounced'

The Cleveland Cavaliers continued their weeks-long slump on Saturday in an embarrassing loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder

In what was yet another awful performance on the defensive end, the Cavs gave up 148 points in regulation. They're now 3-9 in their last 12 games, and are just 1 1/2 games up on the Wizards for fifth place. At the rate they're going, it's not inconceivable that they don't even get homecourt advantage in the first round. 

LeBron James, however, does not want to start thinking about the playoffs. Because, he said, if the playoffs started next weekend the Cavs could easily be bounced in the first round. Via ESPN:

"Playoffs? We can't even start thinking about that, not the way we're playing right now," James said. "We could easily get bounced early in the playoffs if they started next weekend. Haven't even began thinking about the postseason."

"I've never in my basketball life gave up 148 points, not even probably playing video games," James said. "They got everything that they wanted. Inside, outside -- they had it moving. ... It's just a really bad, really bad loss on our part."

LeBron also gave a rather interesting response about whether or not Ty Lue would be fired because of their poor play. He said he hoped that would not be the case, but also said he doesn't really know what will happen, which isn't exactly the strongest endorsement of his coach.

"I would hope not," James said. "But I really don't know. I don't know what's going to happen with our team. I have no idea what conversations have been going on. Me personally, I've been trying to stay as laser-sharp as I can to keep my guys ready to go out and play. Obviously, it hasn't resulted in wins, but I got to stay as fresh mentally as much I can with the struggles. I can't worry about job securities and trades and things of that nature. I just stay as focused as I can every night to go out and compete and try to help us win ballgames."

Since the beginning of January, the Cavaliers have the worst defense in the league, giving up 114.3 points per 100 possessions, and only the Sacramento Kings have a worse net rating than the Cavs' minus-10. And if the playoffs started right now they probably would have a tough time.

Given their pedigree, it seems fair to give them the benefit of the doubt and expect they'll have some things fixed come playoff time, but this is about as bad as it's been in Cleveland since LeBron's return. 

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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