LeBron James called out of bounds on potentially game-winning possession

APTOPIX-Cavaliers-Pacers-Basketball

The Pacers' Lance Stephenson faced Cavs star LeBron James again on Friday night, and Stephenson was back to annoying the heck out of James in Indiana's 97-95 win over Cleveland. But I'm sure whoever he's speaking of or speaking to with that, he'll address it, as we usually do. Love chipped in with 21 points and hauled down 10 boards, with Jeff Green the only other Cavs player to score in double figures with 13 points off the bench.

That DeRozan had the lowest point total of those six players was the flawless example of how Toronto hopes to transform itself into a potent post-season threat. "He's a damn good basket player, too", he said.

No, Dwane Casey and DeMar DeRozan agreed, Thursday wasn't about whether the Raptors could match the reigning Eastern Conference champions, a team that played in the last three National Basketball Association finals, day to day.

But the Cavs have often looked old, slow and disinterested this season - which is precisely how they looked Thursday night. After trailing by 27 points at the half in what had been the worst loss of the season at Minnesota on Monday, they fell behind by 25 against the Raptors after two quarters, even though three-time All-Star DeMar DeRozan had only two points and seven assists. IN has been on a bit of a skid recently, going 4-6 in their last 10 games, and in was handled pretty easily by the Heat earlier in the week. "And there were just some plays that you should come up with, that you should make, and when you're losing, you tend to not wanna make those plays, or tend to let some plays get away from you". We've had not-so-great months. Times where we are playing well.

"We're in a funk". Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at times.

There's little doubt this Cavaliers team has plenty of that, and plenty of talent.

APTOPIX-Cavaliers-Pacers-Basketball-2
Cleveland Cavaliers Cedi Osman dunks during the first half of Friday's game against the Indiana Pacers. ASSOCIATED PRESS

Isaiah Thomas and Dwyane Wade did not play for Cleveland, each getting a rest.

The Cavaliers have dropped six of eight dating to a Christmas Day defeat at defending champion Golden State.

Whatever the reason, the Cavs were inconsistently consistent.

Frustration got the better of James, as he was captured by the TNT cameras in an animated yelling match with Cavs player development coach Phil Handy in the first half. "Two different styles that they play with".

To put it mildly, it's clear all is not well in Cleveland. The Cavaliers' effort started out a lot better against the Pacers, but they reverted back to their lackadaisical selves in the third quarter.

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. That's true and Cleveland likely won't consider Toronto a real threat until they provide a post-season scare.

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