"I have zero level of concern at this stage", James said in his postgame news conference.
Fans watching the Boston Celtics trounce the Cleveland Cavaliers, 108-83, in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on ABC this past Sunday might have noticed some scribbled letters near the Celtics' bench at TD Garden. Plugging Tristan Thompson in for Kyle Korver was not a masterstroke, but on a different night, it might have been the kind of adjustment that won Cleveland the game. They led by double figures, and seemed to have control of the game. The Cavaliers showed more energy in Game 2 - in spurts, anyway - but were overmatched by Boston's poise. "They're both our two oldest players, they're totally selfless, they're totally in it for the team, they wrap their arms around young guys".
It was during that November 2007 ceremony that the franchise named its court the "Red Auerbach Parquet Floor" in honor of the iconic coach, who guided the Celtics to nine National Basketball Association championships in 10 years: 1957 and from 1959-1966.
"He came back, but when he came back, I don't think he had the same punch that he had before he left as far as attacking the basket, playing with that force and power we talked about at shoot-around", Lue said.
Now, it's just one game, and no doubt the Indiana Pacers, who took an early lead in round one against the Cavs, also thought they had LeBron on the ropes, only to see him bounce back from losses and produce a series victory. "Our group in tough times, we've always found a way".
GETTYThe 33-year-old is expected to opt out of the final year of his contract
James and Brown combined for 35 of the game's first 50 points as the Cavaliers jumped out to a 27-23 lead after one quarter.
This season, Baynes averaged 6 points and a career high 5.4 rebounds per game, while playing in a career high equaling 81 games. His 42 points marked his fifth 40-point game of this postseason. They locked down on defense, and didn't allow as many easy cuts to the rim like in the first half. Terry Rozier certainly knew who was pursuing him late in the third quarter, when he got out in transition off a steal. The role players are not getting it done for Cleveland and not giving Love and James the support that they need.
Greg Monroe's cutting layup with 11:14 remaining put Boston up by 11. Smart made huge defensive plays, and there was a moment where he saved the ball from going out of bounds, got up, and tipped in a missed shot.
With the defeat, the Cavs have little margin for error as they head back home for the next two games.
Meanwhile, the last time James' team didn't win the East was in 2010, when the Cavs lost in the conference semifinals to the Celtics.
Robinson Cano suspended for 80 games
He is making $24 million this season, so the expected almost 50 percent of his 2018 pay is now going away with the suspension. Cano is an eight-time All-Star -he was the MVP of the game a year ago - but now must deal with the stigma of a suspension.