Especially during rough stretches of the season like these when the Cleveland Cavaliers need all the positive energy they can get, both individually and as a team.
The Houston Rockets showed the Cleveland Cavaliers how basketball is supposed to be played. At this point, there may not be anything they can do make them title contenders this year. But to beat the Rockets, the Cavaliers would have to be dialed in and focused.
What they brought was far from an "A" game.
Gilbert never returned to his chair in the Rockets' 120-88 win Saturday. LeBron James discussed Cleveland's poor performance on national television, something that makes this season's winter doldrums standout from the rest.
It was the Cavs' eighth straight loss on national television and fourth by 24 or more points since January 1.
Coach Lue has received a lot of flak this season for Cleveland's struggles, as the team's issues on the defensive end have mostly been blamed on Lue's bad defensive sets and inability to send out capable defensive lineups when the Cavs need it. Love's production has dropped because he's playing fewer minutes, but he's still Cleveland's second-leading scorer (17.9 points) and someone who shoots the three-ball at 40.4 percent. That doesn't look as good now as it did when he made it. In other words, he is costing the team games, instead of helping the Cavs win. So, what does the king think needs to happen?
Houston didn't appear to have to try really hard.
Lue didn't make a substitution the entire third period, which ended with the Rockets up 97-69, then sat his starters the entire fourth quarter.
Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James is having one of his best statistical seasons, averaging 26.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and 8.7 assists per game. What else the man need to do?
The team has struggled to find chemistry amid myriad new faces and has been particularly disappointing since the return of Isaiah Thomas, who looks like a shell of his former self as he attempts to bounce back from a hip injury. Derrick Rose and Dwyane Wade chipped in ten off the bench. He scored just 11 points on 3-of-10 shooting, though he had nine rebounds and nine assists.
Cleveland's next chance to right the ship will come Tuesday night in Orlando when they take on the Magic.
Paul has been around long enough to know that when a team has something truly great they can't just let it go by and play safe.
Lue, who took over the Cavs midway through the 2016 championship season when David Blatt was sacked, has been criticized for an unwillingness to change his lineups.