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May 13, 2018

LeBron James

Boston, Massachusetts: Game One

Celtics - 108, Cavaliers - 83

Q. What did you think of the job -- I know he had a lot of help -- that Marcus Morris did guarding you?
LEBRON JAMES: I thought they had great game plan Game 1. He was the start of it. He was my matchup, and I think they did a great job of communicating throughout the whole game, knowing where I was and knowing where our teammates was.

Brad and the coaching staff did a great job in Game 1. You commend that. We have an opportunity to look at a lot of film tomorrow, and see ways they were making us uncomfortable, making myself off balance and not have a rhythm all game. So we'll be much better in Game 2.

Q. LeBron, what did you see differently from the Celtics defensively that you maybe didn't see against the Pacers or the first round matchup, or the Raptors?
LEBRON JAMES: No, I've seen every coverage, pretty much. For me, Game 1 has always been a feel-out game for me, if you've ever followed my history. So I've got a good sense of the way they played me today and how I'll play going into Game 2.

Q. LeBron, speaking of history, this building has been the scene of some of your greatest playoff accomplishments and some disappointments along the way too. Those Celtics teams were built much differently though, veteran teams, Hall of Famers. How is this challenge different for you, and how are you different now than you were back then?
LEBRON JAMES: Every year is a different challenge, no matter if you're going against the previous Celtics team or the present. They've always been well coached. They've always had multiple guys on the floor that can do multiple things, and they've always had two-way players.

That challenge has never -- it's not like it's been different. It's always been that same challenge. So for me as an individual I just try to get better every year to put myself in a position where I can be successful.

Q. LeBron, you got started off 0-for-14 from three. When you're having a game like that, do you think that you and your teammates can feel the misses going into the next shot, and what do you feel about three-point shots moving forward in this series for you guys as a team?
LEBRON JAMES: Well, I mean, three-point shots is a part of our DNA. It's what makes us the best team that we can be. I think even early on with the shots that we had, we had some wide-open looks that just didn't go. I think in the first quarter, J.R. [Smith] and Kev [Kevin Love], G. Hill [George Hill], they had some great looks, they just didn't go. We're okay with that. We're absolutely okay with that. And we're going to take those same looks going into Game 2 if the opportunity presents itself.

Q. They had guys they were putting on you initially in any given possession, but you seemed to be able to get the switch to a different guy pretty quickly off that. Do you think you exploited that switch enough to getting the secondary guy on you?
LEBRON JAMES: Well, like I said, I'm going to get the opportunity to break down the film tonight and tomorrow and see ways that we can be better to offensively have a much better rhythm.

Q. Do you come out of this one thinking the Cavs need to adjust?
LEBRON JAMES: Well, I mean, you definitely have to adjust. That's what part of the playoff series is about. The teams adjusting from game to game and seeing ways you can be better. I think that's an obvious question.

Q. But you were talking about how the three is part of your DNA. You could change a lineup and go with a much different look. You could have Tristan [Thompson] in the frontcourt, which would change matchups. Did you see enough in one game to want to go in that direction, or do you stay with what got you here?
LEBRON JAMES: Well, I mean, you're asking a tactical question as far as something I can't control. That would be a Coach [Tyronn] Lue question if he wants to change the lineup or not. I think our coaching staff will give us the best game plan to go out and win, no matter who is in the starting lineup going into Game 2.

The three-point shot has been a big part since we pretty much assembled this team four years ago, and I think it's going to be a big part of it throughout the series, as long as we continue to get the ball moving and guys feel in good rhythm.

Q. Al Horford made a couple plays in that early run for them. How important was that to set the tone for this game?
LEBRON JAMES: I think it started from their momentum and what they wanted to do started from the tip ball. Horford tipped it right to Jaylen Brown and it looked like we had two on them, and next thing you know he's getting a lay-up right off the tip. So that kind of set the tone right there.

We missed some shots, they made some shots. Horford hit a big three and also was able to get an and one and get Kev his early two quick fouls. So it kind of just started from the beginning.

Q. The Celtics defense was more physical and aggressive at the point of attack tonight than they were in the regular season? That something that surprised you guys when you were trying to get into your actions in the half court?
LEBRON JAMES: What do you mean? Are you asking me were they more physical or are you saying?

Q. I'm saying they were, but I'm asking did that affect the way you guys executed your plays in the half-court?
LEBRON JAMES: No, physical basketball is part of playoffs. That's what you expect. I don't think you can just say that because you're not on the floor, but physical basketball is part of the postseason. So it's easy to make a narrative when you win or lose to say, okay, you guys played bad offensively and you lost, and then you win, and it's like, oh, you played better.

So physical basketball started from Game 1 in the Indiana series when Indiana punched us in the mouth too in Game 1, and it's been like that throughout.

Q. LeBron, you guys were off practically a week. Did you feel that you might have lost some of your rhythm as a result? Was it kind of loose at the beginning of the game for you guys?
LEBRON JAMES: I don't think so. I thought offensively we got to where we wanted to get to, but they also shut off a few things that they wanted to do as well. But I don't think it was a rhythm thing. We had some really good looks. We had been off before in previous years when we had weeks and week and a half. So that has nothing to do with it.

At the end of the day you play the game when the schedule comes out and you get ready to go.

Q. Start of the fourth, I think they cut it to 14. Do you have any idea what -- I mean, I think they scored seven quick ones. Any idea what happened there?
LEBRON JAMES: What happened? We ran them -- the first possession we ran them down all the way to two on the shot clock. Marcus Morris missed the jumpshot, fouled it up, they got a dunk. We came back down, we ran a set for Jordan Clarkson, and he came off and missed it. They rebounded it, and we came back on the defensive end and we got a stop. They took it out on the sideline. Jayson Tatum took the ball out, through it to Marcus Morris in the short corner, he made a three. We come back down, missed another shot. Then Tatum came down and went 94 feet, did a Euro step and made a right-hand lay-up, timeout. There you go.

Q. Not your first rodeo, down 1-0. What is your level of concern at this stage?
LEBRON JAMES: I have zero level of concern at this stage. I didn't go to college, so it's not March Madness. You know, you get better throughout the series. You see ways you can get better throughout the series. But I've been down 0-1, I've been down 0-2. I've been down before in the postseason. But for me, there's never no level of concern no matter how bad I played tonight with seven turnovers, how inefficient I was shooting the ball.

I'm just as confident going into a series whether it's a 0-0 series or I'm down 0-1. So we have another opportunity to be better as a ball club coming in Tuesday night, and we'll see what happens.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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