LeBron James knows he played poorly in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics.
He shot just 5-of-16 from the field, scoring 15 points and committing seven turnovers. Against the Indiana Pacers, he had a similarly poor outing in Game 1. Yes, he still had a triple-double of 24 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists, but the Cavs only scored 80 points and it took him nearly 11 minutes to even attempt a shot in the game (he shot just 7-of-17 from the field).
In Game 2 of that series, however, he scored the first 16 points for Cleveland and had 46 for the night as the Cavs went on to a 100-97 win.
This is something we have seen throughout his career— whenever he plays poorly in the playoffs, he tends to have a resurgence in the following game. But that tendency is not something James is relying on heading into Tuesday’s Game 2.
”History is history, I’m a guy who lives in the moment,” James said at Tuesday’s shootaround. “You can’t rely on what you did in previous series. You’ve got to rely on your instincts. You’ve got to rely on the coaching staff and what they put together as far as the game plan, and then you go out and execute it. Just because you did something in one series or the previous series doesn’t mean you can result back to that. You have to get ready for that next game.”
Tristan Thompson also talked about James’ tendency to have big games following bad games at Cavs practice on Monday. While Thompson was aware of the phenomena, it isn’t something he seems willing to rely on.
“Usually when Bron has these kind of games, the next game he does something legendary,” Thompson said. “But at the same time, we can’t rely on that.”
Having that mentality is honestly probably the best things both James and the Cavs’ role players. The reason these bounce back games even happen is because the former has a chip on his shoulder. And if the role players rely on a big game, it’s too easy for them to get caught watching him and being passive on offense.
The bottom line is, James and the rest of the Cavs need to be more aggressive on both ends of the floor. But for fans, it certainly helps to know his history even if it isn’t something he will be relying on.
Game 2 tips off Tuesday night at 8:30.