Lightning doesn’t strike the same location twice. And LeBron James doesn’t have two bad playoff games in a row.
That seems to be the general consensus entering Game 2 of the NBA’s Eastern Conference finals: After an abysmal Game 1 performance — 15 points and seven turnovers in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ blowout loss to the Boston Celtics — James will be out for blood Tuesday at TD Garden.
“Usually when ’Bron has these kind of games, the next game he does something legendary,” Cavs big man Tristan Thompson said Sunday after Game 1, via USA TODAY.
“You could go through the careers of every great player ever. They always respond,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens added Tuesday.
Not surprisingly, James also is confident in his own ability to respond.
“For me, Game 1 has always been a feel-out game for me, if you’ve ever followed my history,” James said Sunday. “So, I’ve got a good sense of the way they played me today and how I’ll play into Game 2.”
Then this video surfaced of LeBron getting shots up by himself Tuesday morning, almost 10 hours before 8:30 p.m. ET tip-off:
Of course, every player goes through morning shootaround the day of a game, although James did arrive unusually early, according to Cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon.
The Cavs star’s extra effort was all the internet needed to see: A LeBron revenge game is coming.
And you know what? There’s a good reason for thinking that. Consider this stat: In three games following a loss this postseason, James is averaging 41.0 points per game on 63 percent shooting.
If we want to expand the sample size: James has played 14 career Game 2s following a Game 1 loss and is 8-6 in those contests while averaging 31.9 points per game in those eight wins, according to Bleacher Report. Even in the six losses, James still averaged 23.8 points per game.
So, yeah. There’s a good chance LeBron does bounce back with a massive performance in Game 2. But no bet is ever safe with the 2018 Celtics, who have proven critics (and history) wrong during their current postseason run.
Can they continue that trend and slay the King twice on home court?
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images
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