New York, April 19: LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers enter Wednesday's Game 2 matchup against the Indiana Pacers trailing in the series, and he thinks he knows why.
Cleveland, who have reached the NBA Finals for three straight years, never led during its Game 1 defeat to open this season's playoffs, as Victor Oladipo and the Pacers stormed past them from the start en route to a 98-80 victory.
"I think we spent so much time trying to figure out who we were in the regular season, getting the right lineups and guys in and out - things of that nature - we could never build for the playoffs," James said via ESPN.
"It was kind of like, build for the next game. So the postseason finally hit us and it hit us very well. And I think that can be the best teacher for us to know exactly what we should be ready for."
The Cavaliers underwent a number of key roster changes during the season, with most of them occurring right before the mid-season trade deadline.
Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance Jr, Rodney Hood and George Hill came in, while Isaiah Thomas, Dwyane Wade and Derrick Rose were shipped away.
Initially, the Cavaliers looked much more athletic and hungry with the younger roster in place, but the law of averages kicked in and the team has since regressed.
James, 33, nearly averaged a triple-double this season, but the team needs a consistent second and third scoring option.
Kevin Love, who missed a good chunk of time due to injury, could be the guy, but he scored just nine points in the first-round Game 1 loss.
The Eastern Conference is void of a true favourite to reach the NBA Finals, so the Cavs still have plenty of time to get their ducks in a row and make a deep run.