Before the age of 14-hour news cycles and social media, LeBron James wouldnt even have to address an opening round, 98-80, Game 1 playoff loss. Everyone would understand that its a series and one game isnt going to determine the outcome.
After Cleveland lost to the Pacers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference opening-round, the reporters put the pressure on Brain, creating an atmosphere of urgency that he actually may be feeling inside but refuses to show to the legion of fans that either crave his demise or are genuinely worried because the Cavs are not going to sweep the Pacers.
LeBron James reacts to Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Indiana Pacers game 1.
Bron answered the questions as respectfully and directly as he could, but you can’t expect a three-time champion with five finals losses to get hyped about a Game 1 loss, especially when coming back from a 3-1 Finals deficit is already on his resume.
LeBron’s not worried.
Welcome to the playoffs, where nothing that happens in the regular season really matters for the most part. Indiana did beat the Cavs three out four games this season, but everyone expected the Cavs to pump it up a notch and come out in playoff mode.
It didnt go down like that.
Deadspin put it best, The Cavs looked awful! Youd expect this years Cavs team to struggle defensivelythey finished the regular season ranked 29th in defensive efficiency, and their rotation includes a handful of big-minutes guys whove played fewer than 30 games with the Cavsbut defense was only part of the trouble in Game 1. The Cavs scored just 38 points in the first half against the Pacers; LeBron had a bit of an off night, scoring-wise (7-of-17 from the floor, 0-of-4 from deep); Jeff Green, Jordan Clarkson, Kyle Korver, and George Hill combined to attempt 23 shotsprobably that is a problem all on its own, but they combined to hit only five of those shots. The Cavs made only 60 percent of their free throws, for crying out loud.
Twitter went wild on Bron, basking in the Game 1 loss and forgetting that NBA playoff series change like the wind and losses can motivate teams as much as wins.
The LeBron haterswere killing the refs and accusing them of keeping “The Brand Name” in the game. It only took one playoff loss for all of the anti-Bron venom to start sprouting. Some even tried to attack his character because he just walked off the court rather than stick around to shake hands and play nice. Maybe if this was a series clinching game, but after Game 1 I can’t get mad at LeBron for not wanting to kick it after such a humiliating loss.
LeBron clearly hacked Myles Turner — NO CALL? Refs are doing everything in their power to help LeBron avoid Game 1 home upset.
LeBron walked off before time expired. Disgrace! (Cc: @RealSkipBayless, @stephenasmith, @kingsthings, @Lonely_Dad)
The good thing for LeBron is that Game 2 is on Wednesday and if Cleveland come back and smacks Indiana the narrative will change and Brown will be back in everyones good graces.