LeBron James has had more than 24 hours to think about his bizarre performance in the Cleveland Cavaliers stunning Game 3 loss to the Boston Celtics on Sunday. James finished with only11 points on 4-of-13 shooting and got to the free-throw line just six times despite playing 45 minutes at home.
It prompted Cavs guard J.R. Smith to question James aggressiveness Monday, and he implored the four-time MVP to return to his dominating ways for Tuesdays Game 4.
"He's got to be aggressive, get downhill, play like he's been playing, play confident," Smith told reporters after practice Monday. "That's what I always think, (with) people of his stature or people like him, you've got to play confident the whole night and play aggressive. It's the Eastern Conference finals. It's not enough for him. For what he does, what he brings, it's not enough. He knows that. We know that. Just expect him to be better in Game 4."
James had been spectacular before Sundays game, scoring at least 30 points in nine of the Cavaliers 10 playoff games. But with a chance to all but wrap up the Eastern Conference finals on Sunday, he reverted to a passive mode he has not displayed since his early days with the Heat.
But James isnt dwelling on the game, telling reporters Tuesday that hes already put it in his rearview mirror.
"Past it," James told reporters. "I'm focused on Game 4. We know what we did wrong in Game 3. We know ways we can get better. I'm focused on the present, not the past."
Whats at stake for the Cavs is a third consecutive trip to the Finals, where the Golden State Warriors are already waiting. Cleveland can put a stranglehold on the Eastern Conference finals with a win Tuesday and could close out the shorthanded Celtics on Thursday.