After losing the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Cleveland Cavaliers managed to even the series after back-to-back victories against the Boston Celtics at the Quicken Loans Arena. LeBron James established another monster performance in Game 4, finishing with 44 points, five rebounds, three assists, and two steals on 60.7 percent shooting from the field. If the Celtics don’t regain their rhythm in Game 5, James could once again represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals.
Every time opposing teams face LeBron James, their main strategy to win the game is to limit his production on the offensive end of the floor and prevent him from making good plays for his teammates. However, only a few teams in the league has consistently slowed “King James” down, especially in a best-of-seven series. Per Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports, James shared one secret on how he rules the Eastern Conference.
“There’s not a defense that I have not seen,” James said. “There’s only so many you can provide on a basketball floor, and I’ve seen them all. Pretty much through when I started to play high school until now, so I’ve seen them all. [Boston] does a really good job with their communication, trying to force you to do things that you [don’t] do so well or kind of second-guess yourself. For me, that’s why I put the work in between days and try to work on my game to where you can’t force me to do something I don’t want to do, or I don’t have too much of a weakness.”
Celtics Head Coach Brad Stevens has undeniably done a great job bringing the team to the Eastern Conference Finals despite the absence of two superstars, Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, on their roster. However, unlike their previous matchups against the Milwaukee Bucks and the Philadelphia 76ers, it seems like the genius coach has not yet come up with a defensive strategy to stop James’ dominance on the offensive end. Stevens praised James’ ability to adapt and counter their schemes and said that the only thing they can do now is to continue the battle and make it hard for the Cavaliers as much as possible.
Despite winning two consecutive games, LeBron James doesn’t want to be overconfident that the Cavaliers can easily beat the Celtics in the upcoming games. In a video posted by NBA TV, the 33-year-old superstar said that he expects the Celtics fans at TD Garden to be “very energetic” in Game 5. James urged his teammates not to get pressured by the crowd and said that they should keep their focus in the game to be victorious.
Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals matchup between the Cavaliers and the Celtics will be on Wednesday night at TD Garden in Boston.