LeBron James on Cavaliers: : “We give a half-ass effort sometimes”

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The Cavaliers have been dramatic of late. They came from nine points back in the fourth quarter to beat the Jazz, eight points back in the fourth to beat the Knicks, and they came from behind to force overtime with the Bucks (a game which Milwaukee won).

The Cavaliers will take the wins, but LeBron James is not happy with the effort. Here is what he said, via Dave McMenamin of ESPN.

“I think we’re a good team,” James said. “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…

“Records are meant to be broken, but that don’t mean you’re great,” James said, responding to a question about his team nearly matching the 1975-76 Cavs’ 9-1 record for the best start in franchise history. “For us, we have to play [with] a lot more sustainable effort throughout the 48 minutes. And we don’t do that. 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.”

It’s very tough to get a true read on Cleveland right now. They have the fourth best offense in the NBA and eighth best defense through 10 games, and if you’re looking for the mark of a contender being in the top 10 in both is a great measuring stick. (For the record, the other teams that are in the top 10 in both are Golden State, Miami, San Antonio, and Toronto.) Cleveland’s 8-2 record has it on top of the East.

Yet, the Cavs have been inconsistent. Plus, we have not seen them with two starters yet — Kyrie Irving and Iman Shumpert.

All of which is to say, they can and should get a lot better as the season wears on. Which is scary for the rest of the league.