Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard Dwyane Wade is pointing to slow starts as the reason for his team’s struggles through the early phases of the 2017-18 NBA season.

On Sunday afternoon, the Cavs served as hosts to the (then) 1-8 Atlanta Hawks — a shorthanded team that had just lost eight straight games. Just as they have done in recent games, Cleveland got off to a slow start on both ends of the floor, which allowed Atlanta an early advantage. The Cavs’ shots just weren’t falling, and when the buzzer blew at the end of the first quarter, they had already given up 37 points.

Dwyane Wade

David Liam Kyle/Getty Images

Despite solid performances from LeBron James (26 points on 10-17 shooting, 13 assists, and five rebounds) and Dwyane Wade (25 points on 8-19 from the field, 11 rebounds, and six assists), as well as a late surge of three-pointers from Kyle Korver (23 points on 5-11 from beyond the arc), the Cavs were unable to overcome their miscues.

After Sunday’s 117-115 loss to the Hawks, Wade spoke to members of the media with regards to how the Cavs have been performing in the early stages of games.

Via Joe Vardon of

“It’s no secret we’re starting games off awful, terrible,” Wade said. “And they got it going early and the effort or the focus just wasn’t there to start off and you try to battle back, you waste a lot of energy trying to come back from 16-18 down and it’s tough nightly to do this.”

“We gotta be desperate right now,” Wade continued. “We’re 4-and-6. There’s no reason not to be. Until we get that, there could be more nights like this.”

dwyane wade, lebron james

lebron james, dwyane wade

The Cavs, who have now lost four of their last six games, will be back in action on Tuesday night, when they’ll host the Milwaukee Bucks inside Quicken Loans Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. EST with NBATV, Fox Sports Ohio, and Fox Sports Wisconsin having love broadcast coverage.