The Cleveland Cavaliers have lost five of their last seven games.
And not necessarily to elite competition, either: their Monday-night loss to the New Orleans Pelicans is their second to a sub-.500 team outside the current playoff picture in that span. New Orleans was without All-Star big man Anthony Davis.
After the loss, LeBron James, fresh off a triple-double of 26 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists, expressed frustration with the Cavs' front office.
"We need a f**king playmaker," James told reporters. "I'm not saying you can just go find one, like you can go outside and see trees. I didn't say that."
Over the offseason, the Cavaliers let backup point guard Matthew Dellavedova walk when he signed a four-year deal with the Milwaukee Bucks. His replacement, secound-round rookie Kay Felder, has played sparingly, leaving James and Kyrie Irving as the sole primary ball handlers on the team. James is first in the NBA in minutes per game, at 37.5.
"It's like when you don't have bodies. It's tough," James said. "The f**king grind of the regular season. We're a top-heavy team. We have a top-heavy team. We top-heavy as s—. It's me, [Irving], [Kevin Love]. It's top-heavy."
Irving played 42 minutes in the loss, dropping a season-high 49 points.
"I just hope that we're not satisfied as an organization," James said. "I just hope we're not satisfied."
The team also did not replace center Timofey Mozgov, who signed with the Los Angeles Lakers over the summer. The only addition of note was Mike Dunleavy, who was part of the midseason trade package that netted Kyle Korver. But the sniper offers little else, and shooting just happens to be something the Cavs were already loaded with.
"I'm not singling out anybody," James said. "I'm not. Yeah, we won [the championship], but f**k, you know what, let's see if we can do something."
James then singled out two of his teammates: Felder and 28-year-old wing DeAndre Liggins.
"No disrespect to [Liggins] and to [Felder], you think we can rely on them to help us win a playoff game right now?" James said. "And it's no disrespect to them. But it's like, it's not fair to them."
After winning the championship in 2016 and watching the Golden State Warriors add Kevin Durant, LeBron is hoping Cavs general manager David Griffin can find reinforcements.
"We're not better than last year," James said. "From a personnel standpoint."