LeBron James: ‘I hope I’m at my best or close to it’ in Game 5
LeBron James laid it all on the line ahead of Wednesday night’s huge Game 5 showdown between his Cleveland Cavaliers and Indiana Pacers, admitting the onus is on him to lead his team to a critical victory.
“You just go out and do what you gotta do to help your team win,” James said during Wednesday morning’s shootaround, via Cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon. “You gotta have your mind right, sharp, I don’t think you can never predict that the ball is going to go in or things of that nature, you always know that you’re going to be in the right spot defensively, try not to have as many turnover and just have your mind sharp.
“So I’ve been in this situation before but this is a different situation, every situation is different. Hopefully I’m at my best or close to it tonight.”
James is stating the obvious in stating he needs to be on top of his game for the Cavaliers to win. Although this first-round series — not to mention down the stretch this past regular season — the notion that James needs to dominate to lead his team to victory has perhaps has never been a more accurate statement, save perhaps for his early days during his first stint with the Cavs.
With the teams’ Eastern Conference quarterfinal series knotted up at two games apiece, whichever squad comes out on top at Quicken Loans Arena Wednesday night undoubtedly holds an inherent advantage going forward.
For the Cavaliers, though, holding serve on their home court would mean the team would not have to face a potential elimination game on the road at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Game 6 on Friday. Further, Cleveland would then have a possible winner-take-all, Game 7 showdown on their home court come Sunday in their back pocket.
A victory for the Pacers on Wednesday, however, would give them a serious edge over a Cavaliers team that has yet to establish a real playoff mindset or mentality at this point.