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Thursday, June 21, 2018

LeBron James’ post-Game 1 comments should scare Celtics

The Cleveland Cavaliers cruised to a blowout win in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, and LeBron James wasn’t all that impressed with his team’s performance. Be afraid, Boston Celtics — be very, very afraid.

Following Cleveland’s 117-104 victory on the road, LeBron wasn’t exactly handing out compliments to his teammates. In fact, he seemed a little disappointed.

“I don’t even think we played that great tonight. We definitely didn’t shoot the ball as well as we’re capable of shooting,” James said. “Kyle (Korver) had three or four very, very good looks that he missed when we had a good stretch. But I think the energy and the effort and the mindset was where it needed to be starting on the road, especially in the Eastern Conference Finals.”

Korver was just 1-of-6 shooting 3-pointers, so he did have a rough night. The Cavs as a team, however, were pretty efficient. They shot 48.1 percent from the field and 35.5 percent from 3-point range. They shot 47 percent from the field during the regular season (the Golden State Warriors led the NBA at 49.5 percent) and 38.4 percent from downtown. LeBron scored 38 points on 14-of-24 shooting, but he, too, was just 1-of-6 from beyond the arc.

There’s always room for improvement, and the Celtics will be in serious trouble if the Cavs play any better than they did on Wednesday. Part of what makes LeBron so great is that he is always looking for ways to improve. That doesn’t go unnoticed by Celtics coach Brad Stevens.

LeBron voiced some concerns about Cleveland’s situation heading into the series, but they looked like the defending champs in Game 1. If the Celtics aren’t able to adjust, they could be sent home fairly quickly.

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