Mon | Sep 24, 2018

'Unconcerned' - Cavs' LeBron James not fazed by Celtics loss

Published:Monday | May 14, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (right) looks to make a move against Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum during the second half of Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals in Boston yesterday.

BOSTON (AP):

LeBron James has made Boston's TD Garden his personal playground during the playoffs in recent years.

The Cleveland Cavaliers entered the Eastern Conference finals with a 9-3 record against the Celtics in games played at the Garden over the last four years, including six straight wins.

James' 979 postseason points against Boston were the most by any player against any opponent in the last 50 years. And his 21 playoff wins against the Celtics were also the most against them during that span.

But none of that mattered yesterday in Boston's dominating 108-83 win over Cleveland in Game 1, in which James committed seven turnovers while being held to just 15 points, nine assists and seven rebounds.

It would be a solid night for most NBA players, but was pedestrian by the superhuman standard that LeBron has set for himself this postseason, at times single-handedly carrying the Cavs to victories.

But he was clear that his concern level down being 1-0 was "zero".

"I didn't go to college, so it's not March Madness," he said. "You see ways you can get better throughout the series. But I've been down 0-1, I've been down 0-2. I've been down before in the postseason.

"But for me, there's no level of concern, no matter how bad I played tonight with seven turnovers, how inefficient I was shooting the ball. ... We have another opportunity to be better as a ballclub come Tuesday night and we'll see what happens."

 

CREDITABLE STRATEGY

 

James said the Celtics deserved credit for the defensive strategy they employed against him, which started with Marcus Morris challenging him from outset, limiting him to 2-of-6 shooting in the first quarter as Cleveland fell into a 36-18 hole.

"I think they had a great game plan in Game 1, and he was the start of it," James said. "He was my matchup and I think they did a great job of communicating throughout the whole game, knowing where I was and all of my teammates was. (Celtics coach) Brad (Stevens) did a great job."

"We have an opportunity to look at some film (today) and see ways they was making us uncomfortable."