LeBron James on Playoff Mentality: 'Go Out and Try to Dominate'
Apr 15 2018
They're playoff-tested and bring a spotless 12-0 mark in their opening series over the past three years.
Hill played on those Pacers teams that were eliminated in three straight postseasons by James and the Miami Heat.
"My responsibility has been the same for quite a while now: Go out and try to dominate", James said after Cavs practice Saturday.
James is coming off a 2017-18 campaign in which he suited up for all 82 games for the first time in his career.
The 33-year-old forward insists that his regular season workload did not affect how prepared he is as he attempts to make it to an eighth straight NBA Finals.
"Mentally and physically, I'm where I should be right now", James added, per McMenamin. I don't got to get put out by him this year, which I did a lot in my career. I know I need to step up, but that's no different than years past. I don't compare it to next year. I think we've been nine in the past, but I think it's going to be important to go 10 for us. "He's been a tough guy for us to cover".
With the playoffs just days away, Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue typically would have his lineup rotations set by now. James credited this year's Pacers team for being "more well-balanced" with Victor Oladipo leading the charge, but he didn't let that praise turn into paranoia.
Though optimistic about raising the Larry O'Brien trophy, Love has expressed some concern about James and his forthcoming decision this summer.
"I will play 10", Lue said after the Cavaliers watched film on the Pacers, who went 3-1 against Cleveland this season. They were only expected to maybe matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers in round one as an 8 seed, but they're a five seed that took three games from the Cavs in the regular season. Obviously their season, from the outside looking in, was more productive than ours because of what they went through in the offseason. We have the best player in the world and a lot of guys that are hungry to prove what they can do. When answering these questions, we first have to look at how well the Boston Celtics have played in Kyrie's absence and how well the Cleveland Cavaliers have played after making trades that completely altered the face of their team.
Even without much rest (he finished first overall in minutes per game at 36.9), the four-time Most Valuable Player feels as good as he ever has. But at the same time, I've enjoyed being here.
"If we're playing with pace and pushing the basketball, a five's first instinct is to get back to the basket", Lue said. "But with that it also creates some unfamiliarity on the floor, too. We'll see how it benefits us". The team has the option of putting Lance Stephenson, who has caused LeBron some annoyance in the past, on James when he's on the court. "Everybody's the team to beat", James said. Still, they fought the Golden State Warriors to the sixth game of the Finals.
As for the Cavs' opponent, Indiana, Lue knows who to focus on. There's 16 teams, there's going to be some great series going on and everybody is trying to win.
In odds released by oddsshark.com on April 13, the Cavaliers are listed as plus 125 to win the East, meaning a person betting $100 on the Cavs to win the conference would win $125 if they do. "We'll see what happens". It's also a chance to win a championship with James, a former playoff nemesis.
Of course, winning the two playoff games in IN a year ago were agonizingly hard, with Game 3 requiring a comeback from a 26-point deficit and Game 4 going down to the final buzzer.