What goes up must always eventually come back down.
A young Cleveland Cavaliers team showed signs of slowing down after an 8-1 start to their season with a 127-120 loss to the Sacramento Kings last Wednesday. It marked the team’s first losing streak since the very start of the preseason as they dropped two games to both the Kings and Los Angeles Clippers by a combined nine points.
Cavs guard Donovan Mitchell said the flaws in the team’s defense that prevented them from finding ways to overtake the Kings once and for all in a postgame press conference.
Head coach JB Bickerstaff preached something different.
“If we want to win, we need to remember who we are,” JB Bickerstaff said. “We need to play Cavaliers basketball.
“We can’t play hero ball, say ‘my turn’ and play selfish defensively. If we do those things, we’ll have nights like this.”
Though he tried to take on the herculean task of winning a game almost on his own, Donovan Mitchell’s 38 points were not enough for the up-and-coming Cavs to take a crucial lead at the Golden 1 Center in the team’s fourth straight game on the road.
JB Bickerstaff said the team’s young starters and beyond still has a ways to go before they can truly call themselves a top contender in the East, saying it was also his responsibility to guide the Cavs to a more unselfish style of play.
“It’s the same conversation we’re having about maturation and improvement,” Bickerstaff said. “This team has potential, but how do you get there?
“We can reach our potential through consistency in our physical and mental approach. Those are lessons that we have to learn.”
The Cavaliers will end their five-game road trip when they face the Golden State Warriors at 10 p.m. EST this Friday at the Chase Center. The game will be broadcasted on Bally Sports Ohio.