The Cleveland Cavaliers lost a thrilling overtime affair against the scuffling New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night, and Cavaliers head coach David Blatt said afterward he thought LeBron James needed more help to close it out, according to Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal.
James had 37 points overall and 23 in the fourth quarter during a furious rally, but it wasn’t enough to pull out a win:
“We needed to give him a little more help, honestly,” Blatt said.
James basically agreed with Blatt when asked about the fourth-quarter explosion:
“Who else was going to do it?”
And then there was J.R. Smith’s response:
“I mean, I had 15 in the first,” Smith said. “I don’t know what else you want me to do.”
Smith didn’t take a shot in the fourth quarter and missed his two three-point attempts in overtime. Kevin Love didn’t take a shot in the fourth quarter and went 1-of-3 in overtime.
Cleveland is just 5-5 in its last 10 games, and it’s clear there’s some frustration with the lackluster play. There was recently a players-only meeting in the locker room after a loss to the Toronto Raptors, and while the return of Kyrie Irving and Iman Shumpert will help, the rest of the roster needs to put forth more consistent effort.