Okay, maybe sabotaged is the wrong word for a player who scored a double-double with 19 points and 15 rebounds and just missed a triple double by a single assist. But James shot 9 for 22 from the field and took just two foul shots.
The bigger problem were James’s six turnovers, including a bad pass midway through the third quarter — an eventual steal by Chicago’s Jimmy Butler — which signaled the beginning of the end for Cleveland in this matchup.
According to win probability added, no player in the game had more of a negative impact on their team than James, who reduced the Cavaliers’ chances of winning by 26 percent.
“I wasn’t that good tonight,” James said. “I have to be much better.”
According to WhoWins, when the lower-seeded team takes Game 1 in the second-round they win the series 50 percent of the time. If they manage to take the first two games of the series that balloons to 80 percent. So yes, the Cavaliers will need James to be much better — and soon — if they want to move on to the conference finals.