One reason that the Cleveland Cavaliers wanted to bring in point guard Ricky Rubio was his locker room presence, and the heady floor general took charge off the court as he gave an honest assessment of the Cavs mentality’ coming out of the All-Star break.
“We came out of All-Star break and this is where you start turning it on for the playoffs,” says Rubio, per cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor. “It’s something we have to figure out sooner than later. Last night we played a really good game. Tonight, was one of the worst performances of the season.”
Cleveland was outclassed by the Atlanta Hawks for all but one quarter in a 119-136 loss on Friday night, finally coming alive with the game all but out of reach in the fourth. For a large chunk of the game, it seemed like the only Cav that came out to play was star guard Darius Garland.
However, the Cavs are going to start attributing blame to any particular player or absolving any player of accountability.
“It’s a team thing,” Rubio says. “We’re not pointing the fingers at anybody. It has to be from everybody.”
Even if falling behind so quickly and by so much caught Cleveland off guard, they should have had the wherewithal to take the punch and fight back. Unfortunately, a team that’s feeling good about themselves for being fourth in the conference hasn’t played with a surgency.
“We can’t be in a cruise mode… we have a lot of talent and we’re the No. 4 seed and probably in a safe playoff spot, but that being said, we want more, says the 12-year veteran.”