LeBron was the first one at the arena on Tuesday morning, working on his positioning, fadeaway jumpers and three-pointers, long before his teammates arrived at TD Garden.
Was it the pressure of Game 2 later that night?
"Nah, I just woke up early", James said with a straight face just before the team practice.
But LeBron has a reason for everything he does, and whether it was just fine-tuning his shot, sending a message to his teammates, or both, he was preparing for another bounce-back game 10 hours in advance.
I asked him about his history of coming back strong in Game 2 of a series, and if it's as simple as taking it to a 'higher gear'.
"No, it's not about another gear", LeBron said. "The gear has to be up no matter what. It's the postseason...I don't know, history speaks for itself, but at the end of the day we still gotta come out and play."
LeBron was held to 15 points and was a -32 in Game 1, despite taking a game-high 16 shots.
But as dominant as LeBron can be in bounce-back games (See: Pacers, Game 2), the Cavaliers offense still needs guys named Korver and Smith to create and then knock down open looks, especially 3's. The two were a combined 1-8 from the arc in Game 1.
Credit the tenacious Celtics defense, but Kyle and J.R. still have to be far better. I asked head coach Tyronn Lue if their experience in big games will help them shake off the Game 1 debacle.
"Well, they're shooters, and they understand that sometimes you're gonna make 'em and sometimes you're gonna miss", Lue said. "But the biggest thing with those two guys is they need to continue to keep shooting. We want 'em to take the open shots, and when they get shots they gotta take 'em and make 'em."
Of course, Korver may not even be in the starting lineup. Lue hinted at starting Tristan Thompson in Game 2, to better defend Al Horford, and while Lue wasn't about to confirm any changes on Tuesday morning, everyone expects a better Cavs team on Tuesday night.
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