Cavaliers coach defends LeBron after ‘weird’ loss
LeBron James was nowhere to be seen, staying behind the scenes, keeping a low profile. Just as he did in Game 3. James did not address the media Monday, hours after one of the worst post-season games of his career, an 11-point, six-turnover, head-scratching atrocity in a 111-108 loss to the Boston Celtics that — for the time being — has made the Eastern Conference finals interesting.
As is always the case with Cleveland’s superstar, the poor performance prompted the usual speculation and suspicion: Is he hurt? Was he sending a message to his teammates? What in the name of Red Auerbach happened?
“It was a weird game,” Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said. “A weird-feeling game.”
And it was an uncharacteristically passive performance by James, who had scored at least 30 in eight straight playoff games and imposed his will on the overmatched Celtics in the series’ first two games.
But James wasn’t himself Sunday night, not by a long stretch. He passed up shots and made mental and physical mistakes normally reserved for others.
For a superstar who regularly seizes the biggest moments and makes them his own, it was strange to see James basically look like one of Cleveland’s reserves. He took just three shots and didn’t attempt a free throw in the fourth quarter.
Incredibly, he went scoreless over the final 16 minutes.