LeBron has 'zero' concern after Cavs' lopsided Game 1 loss

LeBron has 'zero' concern after Cavs' lopsided Game 1 loss

Jaylen Brown scored 23 points and Al Horford added 20 to power the Boston Celtics over Cleveland 108-83 Sunday, humbling LeBron James and his Cavaliers teammates in their National Basketball Association playoff series opener. "He's the best player, and I'm going to be able to tell my kids this one day".

"I have zero level of concern at this stage", Cavaliers small forward LeBron James said. He's obviously the best player in the game, and you need multiple guys and a team to guard him an entire game. But I've been down 0-1, I've been down 0-2. I've been down 0-2. I've been down before.

Despite having three days to prepare for Game 1, as opposed to jumping into another series, as they did between rounds one and two of the 2018 NBA Playoffs, the Cavaliers struggled to find consistency on the offensive end of the floor and suffered a 108-83 loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 1.

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. "Cleveland" is already in the first quarter missed the powerful breakthrough of the owners and did nothing to get back in the game. We're not pressing the panic button. "We came out with a lot of energy. So we'll be much better in Game 2". "We're just out here playing hard and doing the best we can".

"[Celtics coach] Brad [Stevens] and the coaching staff did a great job in Game 1". "Our guys played with good aggression".

Indeed, the Cavaliers shot 1-for-12 on uncontested 3-pointers in Game 1 (8.3 percent) after shooting 45 percent on open 3-pointers this postseason coming into the Eastern Conference finals, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

"They had a great game plan in game one", 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". You commend that. We have an opportunity to look at a lot of film tomorrow and see ways they were making us uncomfortable, making myself off-balance and not have a rhythm all game.

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The Celtics forced James to work harder defensively and rotated several players on the four-time NBA Most Valuable Player to contain him offensively.

"It was a team effort", Morris said. "Everybody played their part in guarding him". "On both ends of the floor, we didn't play so great". "When he thought he had driving lanes, they made him kick it out to other shooters". "The younger guys to the older guys, we think we can compete and play with anybody". "It's what makes us the best team that we can be. We had some great shots we couldn't make and it snowballed from there".

For the first time this postseason, James was not the Cavaliers' leading scorer in a game, as center Kevin Love totaled 17 points, pulled down eight rebounds and handed out three assists in the loss. After James wiggled his way to a layup - Cleveland's first points in 4 minutes, 43 seconds - Boston ran off eight more points in a row; Brown had six of them, and he finished the quarter with 13 points and five rebounds.

"Our young guys are special. It's not just me", Morris said. It's very unfortunate we had those injuries but no one is going to feel sorry for us. "We've had to step up".

Boston seized a 63-35 lead early in the second half but the Cavs halved their deficit, Jeff Green's jumper at the third-quarter buzzer pulling Cleveland within 78-64 entering the fourth. Of course LeBron ended up with a near triple-double, but this game may have proved how mediocre Cleveland is when LeBron doesn't have 40-point triple-doubles.

"We've got a lot of room to improve", Stevens said. "We're very aware we will get a heavyweight punch Tuesday".

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