Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James was disappointed with his performance in Game 1 against the Chicago Bulls and has vowed to improve on Wednesday night.
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James scored 19 points and had 15 rebounds and nine assists in the 97-92 Game 1 loss to the Bulls on Monday, but he also had six turnovers and missed eight of his 11 shots in the second half.
While some put that down to the defense of guard Jimmy Butler, James is adamant that he will shoot a lot better next time out and Chicago will be prepared for a more aggressive display which will likely involve more of the two-time NBA champion attacking the basket.
Cavs coach David Blatt attempted to release some of the pressure on James by insisting it wasn’t fair to put everything on him when the team don’t win, but the 30-year-old immediately put it back on himself ahead of the next encounter.
“I did have an off game,” James said, according to ESPN.
“If I have a great game my numbers will be a lot different. For me that’s an off game just from the standpoint [that] I’m a very efficient player as far as my shooting and to be 9-of-22, that’s unacceptable. What everybody else says, I don’t really care what everybody else thinks.”
However, perhaps the most interesting part of James’ comments was his reference to Kevin Love, with the star power forward set to miss the entire series after undergoing surgery on a dislocated shoulder.
For much of the regular season there were rumours of discord between the pair, but James is clearly feeling the loss of one part of the Cleveland ‘Big Three’ particularly after Love was averaging 18 points and nine rebounds in his three playoff games.
“I think I may have to change my mindset a little bit obviously with [Love] being out. It’s something we all haven’t been accustomed to this year with him being out for an extensive period or another of the Big Three being out for a long period of time since I had my injuries.”
James has twice led his teams to series wins against the Bulls after dropping the first game, and so he will need a repeat of that this year as a two-game hole ahead of Game 3 on the road could be too much for even the ‘King’ to fight back from.