LeBron James (11 points, 3-of-10 from the field) is completely dispirited. Never before in his career has he played like this. Maybe on the occasional midseason evening he has been less than energetic — in the past, he has called it “chill mode” — but never like this. Looking through his eyes, you can understand why he’s frustrated. You can understand why he sometimes feels like the organization hasn’t kept the pedal down. When he sees Isaiah Thomas struggling, trying so hard to fight through a devastating injury but having to go so slow that he’s hindering the Cavs instead of helping them, he wonders why they traded Irving at all. And why they took the deal with the Boston Celtics, even though they had a chance to back out. James must wonder: If the organization won’t go all-in to try to keep the best team around him, would he want to be elsewhere? Would he want to waive his no-trade clause? Instead, he stews.
May 21, 2018 | 4:02 pm EDT Update
Anthony Slater: Steve Kerr on Draymond Green’s Game 3 technical: “I thought it was unfair.” Said they’ll reach out to the league in hopes it’ll get rescinded.
Logan Murdock: James Harden on the Rockets’ confidence level going into Game 4: “We might get whooped by 40, we might lose by two. We might win by 20 but our same swagger, our same confidence is always there.”
That’s why for him, the connectivity between tonight’s game and Boston’s ultimate goal – winning a championship – are intertwined in such a way that you can’t realistically look at one without acknowledgement of the other, which is why he’s operating on a level of focus unlike any prior to this point in his basketball career. “We’re two games away from going to the NBA Finals,” Brown told NBC Sports Boston. “And six [wins] away from doing something special. We’re too close and we came too far to not be focused.”