UPDATED, 1/24/17, 1:55 p.m. ET:
LeBron James jumped on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon to clarify his comments from Monday night and to say that he's not upset with anyone in the Cavaliers' front office:
See original story below.
When the 18-27 Pelicans took the floor on Monday night to face LeBron James and the Cavaliers without their star player Anthony Davis, it looked like it was going to be an easy W for Cleveland. The Cavs were coming off an overtime loss to the Spurs on Saturday night and had lost four of their last six games, so it appeared as though a game against an AD-less New Orleans squad was exactly what they needed to get back on track.
It didn’t work out that way. Kyrie Irving went off for 49 points and LeBron notched a triple-double with 26 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists, but the Pelicans got 36 points from Terrence Jones and 33 points from Jrue Holiday en route to a 124-122 victory. And after the game, LeBron was not happy. While speaking with a small group of beat reporters, he said he thinks the Cavs are going to need to make some roster changes if they want to have any chance of repeating as NBA champions.
"I just hope that we’re not satisfied as an organization," he said. "I just hope we’re not satisfied…We’re not better than last year. From a personnel standpoint."
LeBron did seem to admit that the grind of the regular season was playing a big part in the Cavs’ recent struggles, especially since the team relies on its stars so much. "The f*cking grind of the regular season," he said. "We’re a top-heavy team. We have a top-heavy team. We top-heavy as sh*t. It’s me, [Irving], [Kevin Love]. It’s top-heavy."
But he added that he believes the front office is going to need to make some moves soon. He was careful not to call out anyone in particular—"I’m not singling out anybody," he said—but he let it be known that Cavs general manager David Griffin and his team are going to need to get to work on bringing in some reinforcements.
"We need a f*cking playmaker," he said. "I’m not saying you can just go find one, like you can go outside and see trees. I didn’t say that."
And LeBron used the Spurs and Warriors as examples of teams that have the types of deep lineups that he envies. "They’ve got bodies," he said. "For the most part, all championship-contending teams has got guys that are ready to step in. Knock on wood, what if Ky goes down? For two weeks. Let’s say two. What if I went down for three weeks?"
The good news for the Cavs right now is that, despite their recent struggles, they are still in perfect position to earn the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. They will also have J.R. Smith returning to the lineup later this season after suffering a thumb injury at the end of 2016. And if history has shown us anything, it’s that the Cavs always seem to struggle at this time of year before returning to form once the postseason starts. So there probably isn’t too much for Cavs fans to worry about here. But don’t be surprised if they make a move or two in the coming weeks to keep their superstar happy.