The Cleveland Cavaliers, despite going on an eight-game winning streak and sitting atop the Eastern Conference, is still a team’s that’s a work in progress. They did enter the season without their starting backcourt, Kevin Love wasn’t in best basketball shape, and LeBron James was initially bothered by a bad back.

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But all those were not enough excuses for the team’s glaring deficiency at this early point of the season. The Cavaliers have seemed to develop the bad habit of starting out games in “chill mode” and we all know that at some point, someone will have to speak up. That person is LeBron James.

Whether it’s in the middle of a game in New York or after a loss in Milwaukee, the Cavs superstar knows nothing will hold him back from calling out his team when necessary.

We’re not a great team right now.

I think we’re a good team. I think we expect we’re a great team, and we’re not. We have to get better in every facet of the game, and that’s every single facet of the game.

We give a half-ass effort sometimes and expect that we can just make a run at the end. We’re not good enough to do that right now.

Tristan Thompson, one of James’ teammates who are closer to him, acknowledged the message.

That’s what we expect from our leader. If he’s not going to push us, then who’s going to?

We can’t look at last season and see what we’ve done. It’s a new season, we’ve got new guys here, we got a new group and teams got better so we have to get better in that same breath. I understand what he’s saying, too.

After the double-overtime loss to the Bucks, Coach David Blatt also pointed out the team’s slow start in games.

I told them after the game too, I thought our effort in the second half was great. I just didn’t think in the first half we were in the game doing the things that we normally do.

The Cavaliers are fortunate that their schedule has been pretty light so far, but they can no longer afford to not give their all for 48 minutes when they’re up against the better teams in the league.

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They’re a veteran group with leaders on the court and in the sidelines who can very much steer the ship and turn the corner. We just hope that they do this sooner than later.