LOS ANGELES • Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue has admitted that his players were "embarrassed" by their start to the National Basketball Association (NBA) season as they prepared to play the Milwaukee Bucks this morning (Singapore time).
The Cavs slipped to 4-6 on Sunday after losing at home to the under-strength Atlanta Hawks, who are propping up the Eastern Conference at 2-8. The last team to reach the NBA Finals with a losing record after their first 10 games were the 1980-81 Houston Rockets.
Lue was at a loss to explain the Cavaliers' sluggish start to the season which has left last year's NBA champions languishing in the bottom half of the table.
He said the team had pored over footage of their losses in an attempt to pinpoint their faults.
"Have to keep showing film and continue to keep talking about it," he said yesterday.
"Make sure we're aware of it, and I think guys are embarrassed and should be embarrassed of how we're getting beaten."
Sunday's loss to Atlanta was particularly galling, given that the Hawks had lost eight straight games and were missing five players - Malcolm Delaney, Ersan Ilyasova, Miles Plumlee, DeAndre' Bembry and Mike Muscala.
"Teams that we're playing, having guys out, key guys out and still not being able to win," Lue said. "We all have to continue to keep searching and continue to keep fighting and continue to play hard."
Guard Dwyane Wade, who has come off the bench in his last six games, called out his starting teammates after posting 25 points, 11 rebounds, and six assists on Sunday.
"I want one time for the first unit to get on the second unit because we blew a lead," he said. "I'm waiting for that day to happen."
But Lue was reluctant to pin the blame on the starting line-up, saying problems existed throughout the roster.
"It's not just the starters, it's all of us," he said. "Starters understand they have to play better. They know that.
"But it's all of us."