The Cleveland Cavaliers came rather close to operating under Murphy’s Law this year. Between roster changes, constant tinkering with lineups, injuries, and off-court drama, the Cavaliers looked more like a team that was trying to figure things out on the fly rather than the squad that represented the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals in each of the last three years.
Of course, because Cleveland has LeBron James, there’s a little more wiggle room than most teams have when it comes to getting their act together. But even James admits that the team’s turmoil this year has caused some issues, especially when it comes to getting ready for the postseason.
The Cavaliers looked limp in Game 1 of their series against the Indiana Pacers, losing 98-80. It led to Tyronn Lue saying that he couldn’t really use his best lineup, which is a strange thing to admit in the playoffs. On Wednesday, James expressed his belief that the team’s regular season struggles kind of caught up to them in Game 1.
“I think we spent so much time trying to figure out who we were in the regular season and getting the right lineups and guys in and out and things of that nature, we could never build for the playoffs,” James said, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN. “It was kind of like, build for the next game. So the postseason finally hit us and it hit us very well. And I think that can be the best teacher for us to know exactly what we should be ready for tonight.”
The team has tried to fix problems as they’ve popped up basically all year long, so it makes sense that their star player would take the approach that this is something that can help them as they face a 1-0 series deficit. Besides, James has already said he’s not too worried about having to come back in a series anyway.