LeBron James lost Game 1 of a first-round playoff series for the first time in his career Sunday, but James says he’s not too concerned.
LeBron pointed out to reporters that he has faced—and overcome—much more daunting postseason odds.
"I mean, I'm down 0-1 in the first round. I was down 3-1 in the Finals." pic.twitter.com/7EBwmi0H61
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) April 15, 2018
The Indiana Pacers pulled off a stunning 98-80 series-opening win, and were clearly the aggressors against the heavily-favored Cleveland Cavaliers.
This is the first time James lost Game 1 of a first-round series and his first loss in a first-round series since May 6, 2012 (snapping a string of 21 wins).
“I’ve always stayed even keeled with the postseason,” James said. “It’s just, I mean, I’m down 0-1 in the first round. I was down 3-1 in the Finals. So, I’m the last guy to ask about how you’re going to feel the next couple days.”
This was also the first playoff game for Nance and Jordan Clarkson and the first playoff start for Rodney Hood. Nance was strong — 10 points, five rebounds, 5-of-7 shooting. The others made a minimal impact.
“You always hear people say in the regular season sometimes it’s a ‘playoff-type atmosphere,'” James said. “Eh, you can’t simulate that. You can’t simulate that speed. You can’t simulate what’s going on out there. So, today was definitely a good test for some of our younger guys and like I said, I think they’ll be a lot better especially in Game 2.
“And not just them,” James continued. “Even the older guys as well. Some of the guys even with experience, including myself, I can be a lot better as well. So, we take it as everybody has to dig deep and not lose two of them on our home floor.”