Isaiah Thomas (rest) will not play Thursday night for Cleveland

Ross Houston
January 12, 2018

The slumping Cleveland Cavaliers suffered a crushing 133-99 defeat to the Toronto Raptors as LeBron James was left less than impressed.

"The way we've been playing, we don't have to remind [the players] of anything", Lue said with a laugh. This has been a detriment for Cleveland, who can not rely on Thompson on offense and it only gets worse when opposing teams resort to "Hack-A-Thompson" and he clunks easy free throw shots as Thompson has a career free throw percentage of 61.0%.

The Cleveland Cavaliers opened the season in a 5-7 funk of sorts.

DeRozan only had two points by the half, but was leading the Raptors with seven assists through the first 24 minutes.

Thomas has averaged 15.0 points 3.3 assists, and 13.4 FanDuel points per game this season.

Still, no proud franchise or player is going to be okay with being blown out on a nightly basis.

James addressed the media after the game, saying that the team should be more accountable.

Toronto will not be able to enjoy this one for long. In their place has emerged a far more egalitarian system, created to make Toronto far less predictable when it enters the crucible of the NBA's postseason. "But once playoffs do start, teams can load up, they can game plan for you".

"I said it before the season: there's gonna be ups and downs, there's going to be reverting back to doing a bit too much individually". But I'm sure whoever he's speaking of or speaking to with that, he'll address it, as we usually do.

They certainly looked like it Thursday, when they took advantage of a rare national television appearance to demolish the Cavaliers. The point guard missed all eight of his first-half field-goal attempts and finished with four points on 2-of-15 from the field. Even though their roster has been plagued by injuries, the Cavaliers have performed poorly even when they were healthy.

Instead for the Cavs on offense, they utilize Thompson as a recipient for lob passes in the pick and roll but that still has limited use for the team. He missed all six of his 3-point attempts after having made at least one in his last 60 regular-season games in what was the second-longest active streak in the National Basketball Association behind Golden State's Klay Thompson (95).

"I mean, I would hope not", James said. It's things we can fix, that's the good thing about it. We've had not-so-great months. We came in here and talked about it, and that's what happens at times. Times where we are playing well.

"The potential is always there". But defense remains a problem as they compete with the Kings for the worst efficiency rating in the league. In particular, starters J.R. Smith and Isaiah Thomas were ineffective.

"We all got to be accountable for our actions, accountable for how well we play, how we play, how hard we play, and what we do for one another", he told ESPN.

The Cleveland Cavaliers coming off their worst defensive performance of the year having lost by 28 to Minnesota is normally not a team you want to face.

When asked about it afterward, the players were confused, with each saying they didn't have one. Will the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics end up on the same side of the Eastern Conference bracket?

But this is about the Raptors, and on Thursday, seven of them would finish in double figures.

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