LeBron James on what the Cleveland Cavs’ bench learned in Game 1
After a less-than-stellar showing through the early stages of this season’s playoffs, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ bench squad came through with a solid outing in Tuesday night’s 113-112 overtime win over the Toronto Raptors. Now, with Game 2 slated for Thursday night, LeBron James is remaining confident in Cleveland’s second unit.
“What do you think your bench guys gleaned from Game 1 that they can apply the rest of the series?” FOX Sports Ohio’s Fred McLeod asked James after Thursday morning’s shootaround in Toronto.
“Just go out and don’t put too much pressure on yourself,” James said, referring to the Cavs’ bench. “Just go out and play. Our bench guys are a hug piece of our team. When they’re productive, we’re productive.
“Don’t add too much added pressure on yourself,” James continued. “It’s a great environment to play basketball and it’s the postseason. Just have fun.”
"Just go out and play" — LeBron on what the Cavs bench learned from Game 1
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) May 3, 2018
Several players from Cleveland’s bench (as well as a few starters) showed up to play in Game 1 of this series.
Jeff Green is another member of Cleveland’s bench who had it going against the Raptors in Game 1, as the former Georgetown Hoya recorded 16 points on 4-4 shooting (1-1 from beyond the arc), three assists, two rebounds, two steals and one block in 28 minutes of action. For the record, Green went 7-8 from the charity stripe in Tuesday’s game.
Kyle Korver scored 19 points against the Raptors in Game 1, including a go-ahead 3-pointer in overtime after Cleveland failed to lead in regulation. Kevin Love scored just seven points, but he did bring down 13 rebounds.
As a team, the Cavs finished Tuesday night’s game with a 14-35 mark from downtown (40 percent).
“My teammates were unbelievable tonight,” James said after Tuesday’s game. “They stepped up when I wasn’t at my best.”
Thursday night’s Game 2 matchup is set to tip inside the Air Canada Centre at 6:00 p.m. EST with ESPN having live broadcast coverage.