For the Cavs' sake, they better hope that the loss to Atlanta on Sunday was rock bottom. It’s still early in the season, but Cleveland hasn’t looked good. When veteran teams play well, it’s because they’re experienced. When they don’t, it’s because they’re old. LeBron James can’t score 50+ points every night to carry the Cavs to victory. If Cleveland wants to turn things around, other players need to step up their game, which they did against the Bucks.

Cavs’ game recap

Dwyane Wade called out the Cavs' starters after the loss to the Hawks. His exact quote was, “It’s no secret we’re starting games off awful.” Maybe that comment was the kick-in-the-pants Cleveland’s five starters needed, because they responded by outscoring the Bucks Tuesday night 39-29 in the first quarter.

However, the hot shooting for the Cavs didn’t last. Milwaukee, on the heels of trading for Eric Bledsoe Tuesday afternoon, blitzed Cleveland in the next frame 39-26 to take a two-point lead into half-time. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton combined to score 23 points in the quarter to get Milwaukee back in the game.

The score remained close throughout the third quarter with both LeBron James and Antetokounmpo displaying their elite athleticism on drives to the basket. The Cavs took a four-point edge into the fourth quarter. After a Bucks’ three-pointer to cut the margin to one, Cleveland went on a quick run to extend the lead to 10 points before ultimately winning by five.

Cavs’ game MVP

The regular season for LeBron James is undoubtedly secondary compared to the postseason, which, after seven straight NBA Finals, makes sense. But certain matchups have to motivate James. After the Wizards trash-talked Cleveland on Friday, James dropped 57 on them, and, going up against Giannis Antetokounmpo and all the hype surrounding him must have put a little extra pep in James' step.

Against the Bucks, James had a stat-line of 30 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists to help lead the Cavs to victory.

Rest of Cavs’ starters

A lot of new faces are on Cleveland's roster this season, but two holdovers, Kevin Love and JR Smith, have not been playing well at all. Love is the Cavs' second best player, but hasn’t been performing anywhere close to the level he’s capable of, averaging about 16 points on 40.2% from the field.

JR Smith has been downright awful, hitting just 27.5% of his shots. Both were lights out against Milwaukee. Love finished with 32 points and 16 rebounds. Smith hit five three-pointers to the tune of 20 points. Derrick Rose chipped in 10 points, and Jae Crowder added five.

Cavs’ bench

Dwyane Wade backed up his tough talk by scoring 10 points in 27 minutes. After scoring just two points against the Wizards on Friday, it’s the second game in a row that Wade has reached double figures. Kyle Korver contributed seven points off the bench, while Iman Shumpert had six points and five rebounds.