In his NBA postseason career, LeBron James has been the king of the split as most of his less-talented teams have at least won one of two in the first two games in a series.
LeBron helped fuel the Cavaliers’ phenomenal comeback in the 2016 NBA Finals against Golden State, a series in which the Warriors were originally up, 2-0. But the 2016 Cavs were a much more talented team that this current Cleveland group – and all signs point to LeBron going down in flames this time around, against the Celtics.
The history is not on LeBron’s side. He is just 1-5 in his postseason career when down 0-2 in a series and NBA teams in a 0-2 hole are 19-278 all-time.
Ten years ago, LeBron’s Cavs were down 0-2 in a series to the eventual NBA champion Celtics and they did force a Game 7 – winning Games 3, 4 and 6 at home. So maybe the same script is followed this time around.
But it is important to remember that LeBron is about to become a free agent again. When that is looming, LeBron has been prone to check out.
LeBron’s Cavs were down 2-1 in a semi-finals series to the Celtics in 2010, and his Cavs then lost the next three games. A few weeks later, LeBron bolted for Miami.
In the 2014 NBA Finals against the Spurs, LeBron’s Heat team was punched in the mouth in Game 2 and never recovered – losing three straight in a quick five-game series. A few weeks later, LeBron left South Beach to return to Ohio.
Tuesday night’s 107-94 loss to the Celtics could be the final time we see LeBron fully engaged this season. This morning, he may very well have moved on mentally to the next stop in his career.