Cavs’ LeBron James not concerned about fatigue coming into series vs. Raptors
LeBron James didn’t make much of the exhausting toll he’s put on his body after trotting 40-plus minutes in six of seven games in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ first-round series against the Indiana Pacers.
Having squeaked by with a 105-101 win in Game 7 after a locker room scare with a minute left in the third quarter, James noted the ends justified the means.
“I never mentioned it was an issue. You mentioned it was an issue. It wasn’t an issue,” James told reporters today, according to Josh Lewenberg of TSN. “It’s what I had to do to help us get to the second round.”
James would have likely played another 40 minutes in Game 6 (played only 31 minutes) had the score been closer heading into the fourth quarter, already trailing by 25 points by the end of the third.
Despite single-handedly willing this team to the Eastern Conference semifinals, James was persistent calling it a team effort and refusing to make it about himself, despite pouring in 44 or more points in three of the seven games of the first-round series.
“It’s about what we did. I was just a big piece of the byproduct of trying to help us advance,” said James. “I just had a lot of things I had to do to help our team win.”
The Cavs won the season series 2-1, but also took a massive loss in their first encounter, a 133-99 resounding defeat that made it clear this weren’t the Raptors from last season, having re-shaped their guard-centric offense and offering a much more balanced plan of attack with a deeper, more athletic bench.