After a relatively easy sweep of the Toronto Raptors in the last round, the Cleveland Cavaliers received a jarring wake up call on Sunday when the Boston Celtics smacked them around to the tune of a 108-83 win in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Celtics cruised to victory with great shooting and doing something the Raptors never managed — slowing down LeBron James. The Cleveland superstar only managed 15 points, seven rebounds, and nine assists on the night. That’s far lower than the 33 points-per-game average he has been putting up so far in these playoffs.
It might only be one game, but many people are already proclaiming that the Celtics have the “Beat LeBron” blueprint. James isn’t worried, though. When asked about the lopsided loss by reporters after the game, James calmly reminded everyone that you don’t win a series in one game.
“I have zero level of concern at this stage,” James said, according to Jared Weiss of The Athletic. “I didn’t go to college, so it’s not March Madness. You get better throughout the series. You see ways that you can get better throughout the series.”
He went to say that he learned a lot in those first 48 minutes, and will adjust as necessary.
LeBron: "For me, Game 1 has always been a feel out game for me, if you follow my history. I got a good sense of how they played me today and how they’re going to play me for Game 2."
— Jared Weiss (@JaredWeissNBA) May 13, 2018
At this point in his career, James is a veteran. He knows that a series is the first team to win four games, not the first team to win one game. He’s been down 3-1 in the NBA Finals and come back to win, so we doubt he’s stressing too much about losing Game 1 on the road.
Game 2 goes Tuesday night in Boston before the series shifts back to Cleveland. Even if the Celtics win again, James will be confident about winnings Games 3 and 4 at home. This series promises to be an entertaining affair, as the best player in the world (along with a rag tag bunch of other guys) takes on one of the best coached units in the NBA.