BOSTON (CBS) — LeBron James made a lot of people in the media go gaga when he remembered a sequence of events shortly after his Cavaliers lost Game 1 to the Celtics. Frankly, the reaction was a bit over the top.
But after Wednesday night’s Game 5 — another loss in Boston for the Cavs — James once again tapped into a memory bank that’s been described as photographic. This time, it was much more impressive.
Rather than recalling a specific few successive minutes of play (and rather than omitting the bad plays made by him), LeBron this time was asked how many of his six turnovers were forced by the defense and how many were unforced. James decided to get very, very specific with his answer.
“I had two turnovers where I felt like they were just really bad,” James said, before getting into detail. “My first turnover, I tried to — I saw something happening and Marcus Morris did a great job of reading it. I threw it up ahead to Kev [Kevin Love], and [Morris] picked it off. My second turnover, I went baseline, lost my footing on Marcus Morris, another turnover. A couple of them, one in transition to Jeff Green, I thought I put it on his hands, and he kind of fumbled it. Wish I could have that one back; I’d maybe bounce-pass that one.
“I had a backdoor one to Swish [J.R. Smith]. It hit his hands. Maybe I should have not thrown that one. It was a little bit in traffic. Al Horford was right there, but it hit Swish’s hands. Maybe I should have taken that one back.
“I had a post-up on Terry Rozier, they came and … they doubled him from the baseline. And Jayson Tatum got his hands on him and I had a guy wide open. I should have faked high and threw it low. My last turnover was just very, very careless on Terry Rozier. We had a pick-and-roll, I got the switch and I just lost it out of bounds on the other side, away from their basket.”
James concluded: “So that’s my six turnovers. I think out of those six, maybe three of them were just careless. I think the other three were attack turnovers, and I’m OK with that.”
This time, the assembled media didn’t guffaw and applaud like they did after Game 1. But this kind of recall was certainly more impressive, as it spanned the whole game and was awfully specific.
James scored 26 points in the game to go with 10 rebounds and five assists in the loss.
Regardless of memory, though, LeBron’s efforts were not enough in Game 5, as his Cavaliers lost by 13 points and will be facing elimination in Game 6 on Friday.