These young players are barely supposed to get playoff experience, and they were able to learn what it takes to bring down the greatest player in the world on the biggest stage. "Just happens. You have nights like that", said Stevens. "It's ridiculous and he does it with the pressure and scrutiny".
After the two shared a moment on the Boston parquet following Cleveland's 87-79 victory, the 33-year-old James was asked about his feelings and specifically that postgame moment with Boston's No. 0.
This isn't a James vs. Michael Jordan story. "He loves those moments", Kyle Korver said after LeBron was clutch in the Cavaliers' Game 6 win that set up Sunday's showdown, but what he said applies now, too.
For now, James will be in a familiar place when the 2018 NBA Finals get underway on Thursday.
How can there be any of those left?
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In this series, James has averaged 39 points per game at home, 27.7 per in the three games in Boston. So he's doing this not only as he's aging but as his responsibilities increased. Golden State won in six games.
While James likely was more than motivated for the series finale, it wouldn't be surprising if Pierce's comments gave him a little boost.
And even after the Cavaliers remade their team at the February trade deadline, it didn't look good enough.
They join the Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat and multiple Boston Celtics teams in doing so. Love shot below 40 percent from the field again previous year, averaging 16.0 points and 11.2 rebounds per game. When we say the Cavaliers are clutch, it all starts with LeBron (as do all things Cavaliers at this point).
James said halfway through the season he made up his mind that no matter what happens he was going to try and keep a positive attitude.
James embraced Horford and Tatum after the buzzer, then the Cavaliers donned celebratory hats and T-shirts before shuffling off the court to receive the Eastern Conference championship trophy.