LeBron James had a good floor game and scored 31 points, but he continued his postseason inefficiency as a scorer in Game 1.
The Cleveland Cavaliers' 18-point fourth quarter lead was cut down to four by the Atlanta Hawks.
“We can’t worry about how many points we’re up or how many points we’re down; we have to continue to play our game. It starts with me. I take all the responsibility for it,” James said. “In the fourth quarter, I played way too much isolation basketball, one-on-one basketball [with] a lot of the defenses set, and I was letting the clock run down way too much. I just had to take the shot or I was giving it to my guys late in the shot clock, and they couldn’t do nothing with it besides shoot it or turn the ball over.”
He used even stronger language during his interview on the court with Fox Sports Ohio’s Allie Clifton immediately after the game, saying, "I allowed them back into the game with my offensive nonsense."
James' 18 isolation possessions in Game 1 were the most by any player during the 2015 playoffs, according to SportVu. While he had some success with it, shooting 8-for-17 on those possessions, it clearly took the rest of the Cavs out of any sort of flow.
Thirty-five percent of Cleveland’s possessions in Game 1 came out of isolation play, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
James vowed a more team-centric approach to the offense he'll initiate should that occur.
“I’ll be more conscious about that in Game 2 if that opportunity presents itself, where at least I can get the ball moving to start [the possession] and then maybe at the back side or like the third option, I can get it back at the end,” James said. “At least we get the defense moving instead of them just watching me pound the ball for 24 seconds. That’s not good basketball.”