LeBron James snaps at reporter who asked about Cavs' putrid defense: 'You look like you couldn't guard anybody'

  • The Cleveland Cavaliers have lost seven of their last ten games and have the worst defense in the league during that stretch.
  • Asked about the team's defense by a reporter, LeBron James snapped saying the reporter didn't look like he could play defense, either.
  • While the Cavs are not playing at peak effort, there are serious concerns about this year's squad.


The Cleveland Cavaliers lost for the seventh time in 10 games on Thursday, suffering a humiliating 133-99 loss to the Toronto Raptors.

As has been the case all year long, the Cavaliers defense was the major issue. The Cavs have now given up over 125 points in three straight games and have given up over 110 points in four of five games in January.

The Cavs are not defensive stalwarts and never will be with an aging and offensive-minded roster, but lately, their defense has been another level of bad.

11 PHOTOS
Cavaliers lose to Toronto Raptors 133-99 on Jan. 11
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Cavaliers lose to Toronto Raptors 133-99 on Jan. 11
Jan 11, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) reacts after being hit in the third quarter against the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 11, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas (17) controls a ball as Cleveland Cavaliers forward Jae Crowder (99) defends during the third quarter at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 11, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors forward Norman Powell (24) drives to the basket over Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson (13) in the fourth quarter at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 11: Dwayne Wade #9 of the Cleveland Cavaliers dribbles the ball as Norman Powell #24 of the Toronto Raptors defends during the first half of an NBA game at Air Canada Centre on January 11, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 11: Lebron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers and OG Anunoby #3 of the Toronto Raptors wait for a free throw during the second half of an NBA game at Air Canada Centre on January 11, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 11: Isaiah Thomas #3 of the Cleveland Cavaliers dribbles the ball during to the first half of an NBA game against the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre on January 11, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 11: Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan (10) looks to pass as Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love (0) and Cleveland Cavaliers guard JR Smith (5) double team him. Toronto Raptors vs Cleveland Cavaliers in 2nd half action of NBA regular season play at Air Canada Centre. Raptors win 133-99, Toronto Star/Rick Madonik (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 11: Cleveland Cavaliers guard Dwyane Wade (9) keeps the ball well away from the grasp of Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23). Toronto Raptors vs Cleveland Cavaliers in 2nd half action of NBA regular season play at Air Canada Centre. Raptors win 133-99, Toronto Star/Rick Madonik (Rick Madonik/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 11: Lebron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers speaks to OG Anunoby #3 of the Toronto Raptors during the second half of an NBA game at Air Canada Centre on January 11, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 11: Isaiah Thomas #3, Dwayne Wade #9 and Kevin Love #0 of the Cleveland Cavaliers look on from the bench during the second half of an NBA game against the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre on January 11, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Jan 11, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) reacts in the first quarter during a game against the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
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After the game, James apparently was not interested in diagnosing the Cavs' problems. Asked by The Buffalo News' Jerry Sullivan about the Cavs' three recent poor defensive showings, James said, "If we put you in the lineup, we'd probably give up even more, because you look like you couldn't guard anybody."

The Cavs rank 29th in defensive rating, giving up 109.5 points per 100 possessions, better only than the 13-28 Sacramento Kings.

29 PHOTOS
LeBron James through the years
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LeBron James through the years
File photo of high school basketball star LeBron James getting set for a foul shot during the annual Jordan Capital Classic high school all-star game in Washington, April 17, 2003. James will hold a press conference at his high shool in Akron, Ohio April 25, 2003, where he is expected to state his intentions concerning the upcoming NBA draft. James is expected to be the number one pick should he make himself available for the draft. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn-Files GMH/HB
Lebron James announces his entrance into the NBA draft, during a press conference at St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio, April 25, 2003. The six-foot-eight James, 18, is expected by many to be the number one selection in the draft on June 26. REUTERS/Jason Cohn JC/HB
LeBron James (R) shakes hands with National Basketball Association Commissioner David Stern after being selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers as the first pick in the 2003 NBA Draft at Madison Square Garden in New York, June 26, 2003. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton PM
Cleveland Cavaliers first draft pick LeBron James speaks with reporters following a picture session at Gund Arena, in Cleveland, October 2, 2003. REUTERS/Ron Kuntz RK/ME
Cleveland Cavalier rookie forward LeBron James (23) shoots over New Orleans Hornets defenders Baron Davis (1) and David Wesley (4), in the fourth period of NBA action in Cleveland, Ohio, December 23, 2003. James 22 points was the high scorer for the Cavaliers who defeated the Hornets 97-86. REUTERS/Marc Serota MS
Paul Pierce (R) of the Boston Celtics and LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers chat while the scoreboard is fixed during the fourth quarter of their game at Gund Arena, February 9, 2004. The Cavaliers won, 97-89. REUTERS/Ron Kuntz RK
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (C) gets a layup as Seattle Supersonics forward Rashad Lewis (L) and Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki look on, during the first half of the 54th NBA All-Star Game in Denver, February 20, 2005. REUTERS/John Gress JM
Eastern Conference forward LeBron James holds the Most Valuable Player trophy at the 55th NBA All-Star Game in Houston, Texas February 19, 2006. The East defeated the Western Conference 122-120. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James questions a call during their NBA playoff game against the Washington Wizards in Washington May 5, 2006 Cleveland defeated Washington, 114-113, to advance in the NBA playoffs. REUTERS/Gary Cameron
Forward LeBron James, of the Cleveland Cavaliers, works on his jump shot at morning practice during the first day of training camp for the USA men's basketball team in Las Vegas July 19, 2006. REUTERS/Mike Blake (UNITED STATES)
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) shoots over New York Knicks forward Quentin Richardson (L) and guard Stephon Marbury (R) in the fourth quarter of their NBA basketball game in New York's Madison Square Garden, November 13, 2006. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES)
Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James is seen on the court during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers in Los Angeles, California, February 15, 2007. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok (UNITED STATES)
Cleveland Cavaliers LeBron James goes through his pregame powder ritual prior to the start of Game 2 of their Eastern Conference first round NBA playoff basketball game in Cleveland, Ohio April 25, 2007. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk (UNITED STATES)
Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James answers media questions before practice for their NBA Finals basketball series against the San Antonio Spurs in San Antonio, Texas, June 8, 2007. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES)
Cleveland Cavaliers LeBron James (L) celebrates after dunking against the New Orleans Hornets David West during the NBA All-Star basketball game in New Orleans, Louisiana February 17, 2008. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes (UNITED STATES)
Cleveland Cavaliers LeBron James (L) is guarded by Chicago Bulls Thabo Sefolosha (R) during the first quarter of their NBA basketball game in Cleveland, April 3, 2008. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk (UNITED STATES)
Cleveland Cavaliers LeBron James drives to the basket during the third quarter of their NBA basketball game in Cleveland January 9, 2009. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk (UNITED STATES)
Cleveland Cavaliers Lebron James sits with his girlfriend Savana Brinson and son Bryce Maximus during the Rookie Challenge at the NBA All-Star basketball weekend in Phoenix, Arizona, February 13, 2009. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES)
Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James speaks after being named the NBA Most Valuable Player during a ceremony at his alma mater St. Vincent-St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio May 4, 2009. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk (UNITED STATES SPORT BASKETBALL)
Miami Heat's LeBron James celebrates after Mario Chalmers scored a three pointer against the Los Angeles Lakers during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles, December 25, 2010. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Miami Heat's LeBron James (R) stands with Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade during Game 5 of the NBA Finals basketball series in Dallas, June 9, 2011. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Miami Heat's LeBron James watches a shot against the Dallas Mavericks through the net during the second half in Game 2 of the NBA Finals basketball series in Miami, June 2, 2011. REUTERS/David J. Phillip/Pool (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Miami Heat's LeBron James dunks against the Washington Wizards in the first half of their NBA basketball game in Miami, Florida December 15, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Miami Heat's LeBron James speaks at a press conference after his team defeated the San Antonio Spurs in Game 7 of their NBA Finals basketball playoff in Miami, Florida June 20, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASKETBALL)
Dec 19, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) makes a pass against the Brooklyn Nets during the second quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James wears an " I Can't Breathe" t-shirt during warm ups prior to the game against the Brooklyn Nets in Brooklyn, New York, December 8, 2014. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo
June 14, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James speaks to media following the 104-91 loss against the Golden State Warriors in game five of the NBA Finals. at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 19, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) celebrates with the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy after beating the Golden State Warriors in game seven of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
CLEVELAND, OH - JANUARY 21: LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers pauses on the court during the second half against the San Antonio Spurs at Quicken Loans Arena on January 21, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Spurs defeated the Cavaliers 118-115. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory copyright notice. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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Last year's Cavs squad finished the season 22nd in defensive rating and generally proved that they could flip the proverbial switch in the postseason when they all cared. This year's squad has had problems with defensive effort, one aspect that can certainly improve when their general interest in games is piqued.

Yet compare the Cavs to the Golden State Warriors, their biggest foes. The Warriors, too, are coming off their third-straight Finals, and though their roster is much better constructed to play defense, they still rank third in defensive rating, giving up 102.5 points per 100 possessions. Somehow, the Warriors find ways to care that the Cavs have not.

January is notoriously known as the doldrums of the NBA season, when teams have their eyes on the All-Star break and the trade deadline and the second half of the year. The Cavs can certainly ramp up the effort in the second half of the season and improve some of their defensive woes, but at the moment, the Cavs wouldn't have much to lose on defense if they did play Sullivan.

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