LeBron James on Game 1 loss to Pacers: 'I was down 3-1 in the Finals, so I'm the last guy to ask'
The Cavaliers lost Game 1 against the Pacers, putting LeBron in a position he's never experienced
LeBron James and the Cavaliers were surprisingly manhandled by the Pacers on Sunday, losing 98-80 to go down 1-0 in the first round of the playoffs. While the game raised a lot of questions, specifically who in the world is going to guard Victor Oladipo, the Cavaliers have at least one guy not worried about the early deficit, and his reasoning is sound.
"I've always stayed even-keeled with the postseason," James said after the game to media. "I mean, I'm down 0-1 in the first round. I was down 3-1 in the Finals. So I'm the last guy to ask about how you're going to feel the next couple days."
James refers, of course, to the 2016 NBA Finals, when Cleveland went down 3-1 to the Golden State Warriors. He responded by averaging 36.3 points per game, 9.7 assists per game and 11.7 rebounds per game en route to a miracle comeback.
But there's another element to James' comment: He has never been here before. This is the first time in James' 13 consecutive trips to the postseason that he has trailed at any point in a Round 1 series -- he hadn't even dropped a first-round game since 2012.
Against the Pacers, James had 24 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds. However, only Larry Nance Jr. (10 points) and J.R. Smith (12 points) joined him in double digits. Jeff Green didn't score in 27 minutes, Kevin Love totaled nine points to go along with 17 rebounds and the Cavs as a team shot 38.5 percent from the field. James took notice of what he ascribed to jitters.
"We had some guys in their first time out there playing in this setting, and they definitely ... like I told you guys, you always ask me, 'Is there anything you can tell them?'" he said. "Listen, experience is the best teacher, and they got it today. I think everybody is going to be a lot more calm and a lot more precise in what we want to do, too. So it's definitely a feel-out game. We'll see what they're going to do."
James said that intensity is what the Cavaliers lacked, although the Pacers playing a terrific game didn't help. In addition to Oladipo's 32 points, Myles Turner had 16 points and Bojan Bogdanovic added 15.
The Pacers definitely looked ready, so now the Cavaliers have to catch up. It's been a crazy season in Cleveland. In Indiana, meanwhile, it seems to be business as usual. Until this series is over, we at least have LeBron vs. Lance Stephenson Part 2.
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