LeBron James dealing with leg cramps during Game 7 vs. Pacers
In LeBron James’ first Game 7 in the first round of his 15-year career, he told his family he was going to play the entire game against the Indiana Pacers. After recording 26 points, four rebounds, five assists, and two steals in the first half, the 33-year-old later headed back to the locker room near the end of the third quarter.
According to Doris Burke of ESPN, James went back to the locker room after experiencing leg cramps, but later returned in the fourth quarter:
— ESPN (@espn) April 29, 2018
As James could not play five minutes, Tristan Thompson, Kevin Love, and George Hill all stepped up during a critical point in the fourth quarter. As Thompson started and finished with a double-double (15 points and 10 rebounds), Hill returned from a three-game absence and finished with 11 points in 19 minutes. After being called out by James following Game 6, Love made key three-pointers and finished with 14 points and six rebounds.
Although the Cavaliers ultimately got past the Pacers, there should be concerns in the second round against the Toronto Raptors. James had to play at least 40 minutes in six of the seven games and Cleveland only won by an average margin of 3.5 points. However, the Raptors do need to prove they are capable of beating James in a seven-game series.
With not much time to prepare for Game 1 against the Raptors, it will be interesting to see what happens. For the first time since James’ return, the Cavaliers only had homecourt advantage against the Pacers instead of the entire Eastern Conference playoffs.