If we’ve learned anything about LeBron James over the second half of his career, it’s that he doesn’t go quietly.
One only needs to recall the opening round of this year’s playoffs, when the Pacers opened with an 18-point blowout in Cleveland, to see how James responds to bad losses.
“Limited” to a pedestrian triple-double in Game 1 (24-10-12), James dominated Game 2 with 46 points on 17-of-24 shooting, adding 12 rebounds and five assists in Cleveland’s 100-97 victory. The Cavs went on to win the hard-fought series in seven games.
That performance feels relevant because the Celtics just blew the Cavs off the floor in Game 1 of the conference finals, and James as a virtual no-show, tallying 15 points and seven turnovers in a 25-point blowout. With Game 2 tomorrow, however, Cavaliers teammate Tristan Thompson thinks he knows which LeBron we’re going to see.
“Usually LeBron has these kinds of games, the next game he does something legendary,” Thompson told reporters at Cavs practice on Monday. “But the next game, we can’t count on that. We need to help him. The more effective we are, the more it opens up for him.”
James has only been held to 15 points or fewer 12 times in his postseason career. He’s 1-11 in those games and 0-5 against the Celtics, including last year’s 11-point effort in a shocking Game 3 loss.
“I expect him to have a big response,” teammate Kevin Love told reporters. “He’s always done it. He’s always responded big and I imagine it will be a lot like Game 2 against Indiana. We had a really tough loss and he came out and played really well. He’s going to approach this game as one he has to lead.”
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Source: GreenStreet Blog