LeBron admits he loses sleep after playoff losses

There's nothing "comfortable" about playoff basketball "until you either win it all or you lose and go into the summer"

Daryl Ruiter
May 19, 2018 - 1:38 pm
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Independence, OH (92.3 The Fan) – As the door to the gym at Cleveland Clinic Courts opened Saturday morning for reporters, LeBron James stood against the wall waiting.

He was ready for questions during his regular shootaround media availability and clearly ready for Game 3 Saturday night.

Many are curious to see how James and the Cavs respond now trailing Boston 0-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals with virtual ‘must wins’ at home in Games 3 and 4 Saturday and Monday night.

The concern is real.  

“I lose sleep,” James said. “I mean at the end of the day when you lose any game in the post season, it’s never comfort. The playoffs is never comfort. There’s nothing about the playoffs that’s comfortable until you either win it all or you lose and go into the summer. So for me, it’s just always a day-to-day grind trying to figure out ways you can be better.”

James is coming off of a 42-point, 12-assist and 10-rebound effort that still wasn’t enough to earn the Cavs a split after he only scored 15 in Game 1.

What lead to the turnaround, at least for him?

“I can’t really tell you that,” James said. “I told you I would be better in Game 2.”

Since the Cavs returned to Cleveland, this week has been spent performing an autopsy of what has gone wrong in Games 1 and 2 and the list of problems is lengthy – physicality, pace of play, 3-point shooting, ball movement, player movement, defensive communication and rotation.

Other than that, things are fine.

James, who is averaging 41.3 points per game and is shooting 61 percent from the field in 4 games following a loss this post season according to ESPN Stats and Information, offered a simple solution to getting things back on track.

“You gotta make shots, obviously, that helps,” James said. “Ball movement, player movement, getting the ball from one side to another, that stretches out the defense and so that would help.”

Pace of play offensively has been the primary point of emphasis at practice this week.

The Cavs’ offense had grown stagnant in the first 2 games, even when James was on the floor. They’ve assisted on just 36 of their 68 shots made while scoring nearly 15 points per game below the playoff average in the series.

“That’s always been an emphasis of our game and obviously sometimes we do it better than others,” James said. “Coach [Tyronn Lue] always stresses that since he took over, of us having more time in the shot clock to execute our offense so we’re not always playing against the clock.

“Versus a very good defensive team like Boston you’ve got to have as much time on the 24-second shot clock as possible.”

The Celtics have held the Cavs to just 24.6 percent (14 of 57) from beyond the arc through 2 games and they’ll need those shots to fall at home the next 2 games to get back in the series.

As for James’ health following the violent collision with Jayson Tatum’s shoulder in the second quarter of Game 2, there’s no reason for concern there.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” James said.