James sat down with Uninterrupted to talk about the differences between home and road playoff games, and his preference may be a bit surprising. While at first he talked about how “familiar” everything is at home, it’s clear his likes playing road games for a variety of reasons.
“Over the years I’ve built like this love and comfort of being on the road and being in hostile buildings and going against opposing teams on their home floor,” James said.
One interesting thing James says is that, in a way, playing on the road at this point is its own form of familiar.
I’ve played in every Eastern Conference arena on the road in the playoffs. Every team. So I know exactly where their arena is. I’ve had, for the most part, the same locker in these arenas. So I’m just pretty relaxed and just like, you know, just getting ready to get my routine down.
While home court advantage is often a significant factor in the postseason, James said as a player it’s often an extra concern. One wrong move in a game, he said, and the series changes significantly.
I get a little bit more nervous at home because everybody’s so comfortable being home, and so especially during the playoffs, you don’t want to be that comfortable. You want to be confident, but you don’t want to be that comfortable. Because one loss at home can switch a whole series and you don’ want to be cool going into a game. I’m kind of more nervous during home games than I am on the road.
Fortunately for James and the Cavs, they’ve been perfect this postseason no matter where they play. It is interesting to see what kind of mindset a player has before a road game, and how that changes at home. At this point in his career, it seems James can be comfortable — and perform well — anywhere.