LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers are battling a Toronto Raptors team who has, somehow, turned the Eastern Conference Finals into a series after winning the previous two games up North on their home floor. With Game 5 set to tip tonight in Cleveland, the Cavs—who many presumed could sweep this series—might be nervous dealing with the expectations now that their backs are against the wall, right?
Not James, who told reporters just how he’s feeling heading into tonight, via ESPN:
“Just a sense of calmness,” James, speaking after the Cavs’ shootaround Wednesday morning, said of his mindset in preparation for Game 5. “That’s all. Just a very calm moment for myself, personally. I relish this opportunity to be a part of the postseason once again, to be 2-2 on my home floor, so, a sense of calmness.”
“I’ve been on both sides, I’ve been on the side that’s went up 3-2, I’ve been on the side that’s went down 3-2,” James said. “When the series is tied 2-2, that’s a pivotal game. Obviously. We all know that. We want to come out with the mindset and the understanding of how important this game is to both teams and have a sense of urgency from the beginning.”
LeBron, who has gone 6-6 in Game 5s in his career while averaging 32 points, 8.6 rebounds and 6.8 assists in those contests, sure sounds as if he’s taking the lead of his head coach, Tyrone Lue, who dismissed all of the pressure talk.
During the playoffs, the Cavs are undefeated on their home court and are winning by a margin of 15 points, so they have every right to be confident. However, if they should lose tonight, the Internet might already declare James’ departure from his hometown before Game 6 is even played—so he better back up his words.