Why the Game 1 loss to the Celtics means nothing for LeBron
The Cleveland Cavaliers were beaten down by the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Absolutely crushed, no doubt.
And that has a lot of ‘experts’ believing in a possible Celtics series win. Even our own Brandon Reid has guaranteed Celtic victory in the seven-game series.
LeBron isn’t concerned however…and he shouldn’t be.
“Game 1 has always been,” LeBron said, “a feel-out game for me.
“I have zero level of concern at this stage. I didn’t go to college, so it’s not March Madness.”
The NBA playoffs aren’t single-elimination. But every game carries significant weight in a best-of-seven series. Should LeBron be so dismissive of what the Celtics accomplished in Game 1?
He has earned the right to be.
LeBron has won just 61% of his Game 1s, his worst mark of any game in a series:
Remember, LeBron is usually good enough to secure home court in the first game of the series (no this year) and open series at home. The Cavs and Heat have played 66% of their Game 1s with LeBron at home.
Teams that lost Game 1 of a best-of-seven series have won it just 23% of the time. LeBron’s teams have won 56% of the time.
Here are the 16 times LeBron’s teams previously dropped Game 1, including the nine series victories:
- Cavaliers lost to Pistons in 2006 second round
- Cavaliers beat Pistons in 2007 conference finals
- Cavaliers lost to Spurs in 2007 NBA Finals
- Cavaliers lost to Celtics in 2008 second round
- Cavaliers lost to Magic in 2009 conference finals
- Heat beat Bulls in 2011 conference finals
- Heat beat Thunder in 2012 NBA Finals
- Heat beat Bulls in 2013 second round
- Heat beat Spurs in 2013 NBA Finals
- Heat beat Pacers in 2014 conference finals
- Heat lost to Spurs in 2014 NBA Finals
- Cavaliers beat Bulls in 2015 second round
- Cavaliers lost to Warriors in 2015 NBA Finals
- Cavaliers beat Warriors in 2016 NBA Finals
- Cavaliers lost to Warriors in 2017 NBA Finals
- Cavaliers beat Pacers in 2018 first round
So, LeBron can taunt the Celtics a bit by calling what they hope is their breakthrough victory just “a feel-out game.”
Of course, there is no guarantee that LeBron digs himself and the Cavs out of this hole, but if one man were to do it–it would be LeBron.