After giving up 126 points (73 in the first half and 70 in the paint) to the Denver Nuggets in a 13-point loss on Wednesday, LeBron James questioned the toughness of his team.
“It ain’t about a group. It’s about individuals,” said James, who was minus-30 with just 18 points, 6 boards and 5 assists in 34 points. “Everybody got to just be more, do more. Ain’t about no group. You can’t preach toughness. Got to have it.”
When asked about his persona performance LeBron said he could have been better before pointing out he doesn’t lack toughness.
“Personally? I had opportunities where I could have been better. One thing about it, I always bring toughness to the game. I know that. That’s for sure.”
A frustrated Coach Tyronn Lue also backed up LeBron’s comments about players needing to be tougher.
“They came and just kicked our butt in every facet of the game,” Lue said. “Coaches, we got to be better, but players, they got to be better too. They got to be tougher. Got to [have] more urgency, and it comes from all of us. They got 3-point shots, they got points in the paint, they got offensive rebounds. They got, I mean, whatever they wanted. And we got to be better than that. It starts with the coaches, but the players got to look at themselves in the mirror too. They got to be more physical, they got to bring a physical presence, and they’ve got to take pride in guarding their man.”
When the topic was brought up to Tristan Thompson, he admitted he’s going to have look in the mirror and step up.
“When it comes to toughness, that’s an area that I’m definitely going to look at and take very seriously,” said Thompson, who had 6 points, 4 boards and 1 block. “Because at the end of the day, I’m the man in the middle, so I got to make sure I bring that toughness, and if it’s being questioned, I got to pick that shit up.”