The Cleveland Cavaliers might be holding on to the top spot in the Eastern Conference, but the Toronto Raptors are quickly climbing the rankings to challenge them. The Cavaliers signed Channing Frye to help with a second-half push for the postseason, but that failed to work against the Washington Wizards. With LeBron James out, the Cavaliers failed to step up and JR Smith admits there is concern.
The Cavaliers fell 113-99 to the Wizards on Sunday, with James getting a rest day. In his place, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving failed to lead the team and now frustration is growing. Head coach Tyronn Lue told the media that the stars of the team failed to give any effort. Irving disagreed, saying that he was taken out of the game too early, while Smith said everyone was embarrassed by the loss.
"We can't play basketball like this going down the stretch," Smith said, via ESPN. "There's 24, 25 games left in the year and you talk about contending, being a championship contender and get blown out by a team. ... After losing a game to the No. 2 team in the East then you come out and get thrashed and make it look good at the end. We can't do that. If we're serious about who we're supposed to be, then we can't do this."
The Cavaliers missed out on Joe Johnson, who ended up with the Miami Heat after being waived by the Brooklyn Nets. Still looking to add one more player to the roster, Cleveland is signing Jordan McRae from the D-League according to the team website. McRae is on a 10-day contract after averaging 23.3 points and 4.6 rebounds per game in the D-League. He comes out of the University of Tennessee, where he was originally selected by the Spurs and then traded to the 76ers. The Cavaliers will give the guard some time on the court to help with scoring.
Cleveland is also hopeful that Frye gets adjusted to things quickly. He scored 15 points with the team against the Charlotte Hornets, but has been quiet since. The Cavaliers are doing their best to get him quickly adjusted to the offense as they need him with players like Mo Williams and Iman Shumpert sitting out with injuries.
"He gives us a little bit more depth, that's for sure, especially with Shump being out," James said, via WKYC. "His contributions were huge, just coming in and making plays for our team, making shots, rebounding the ball, defending. He adds another dynamic piece to our team that we haven't had up to this point, so it's great to have him."