The Toronto Raptors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night, 133-99. It was a drubbing, and a particularly embarrassing result for LeBron James against one of the challengers to his throne in the Eastern Conference.
At one point things got so bad that LeBron took over the team huddle during a break, gesticulating wildly and presumably playing the part of coach.
The scene was wild, and could only be enhanced if we had the audio from the outburst:
Of course, this moment spawned a flurry of activity on social media, not all of it coming from fans and media types.
The incident was posted to Instagram, and apparently found its way to former Cavaliers and current Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving.
Irving was caught by several folks on Twitter having “Liked” the video of LeBron going off on his former squad.
Of course, Jared Weiss was quick to point out that this might not be a case of Kyrie vs. LeBron after all.
Via Celtics Wire:
After posting this photo, a league source told Celtics Wire that this is most likely Kyrie enjoying his guy Phil Handy get the work from LeBron.
Handy is the Cavs assistant coach who probably had the closest relationship with Irving. He was an instrumental part of Irving’s renowned pre-game workout and Irving even credited Handy with giving a rousing speech that motivated the Cavs to win Game 3 of the 2016 NBA Finals.
Who is beefing with who is one of the hardest things to keep track of during the NBA season. We might need to start a running tally over here.
Meanwhile, what does this loss mean for the Cavaliers? That might be hard to judge. Cleveland is 7-8, 13-3, and 11-6 over their past three Januaries and in that time they’ve won one championship. They’re above .500, which is better than they can say for one of those seasons.
This team looks worse at times than you think they can, but they’ve also had multiple 14+ point losses spread out all over the past four seasons.
It’s reasonable to think this Cavaliers team looks worse than they have in years past, and less stable. But it’s also true that they always look bad at times, and they always make it to the final moments of the NBA playoffs come spring.
Until we’re out of winter, it’s probably best to pump the brakes on the Cavs and enjoy the beef.