LeBron James, who said he was "burnt," "tired" and "ready to go home" after scoring 45 points to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers past the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, says he's good to go against the Toronto Raptors in a semifinal series starting Tuesday.
"I'll be all right," James told reporters at the Cavaliers' shootaround. "I'll be fine."
James, 33, averaged 41.1 minutes per game in the seven-game series against the Pacers. He led the Cavaliers in nearly every statistical category, including points (34.4 per game), rebounds (10.0), assists (7.7), steals (1.4) and blocks (1.0).
Playing heavy minutes in the playoffs is nothing new for James -- he averaged 41.3 minutes in 18 postseason games last season -- but having only one day off between each game of the series with the Raptors is on the mind of coach Tyronn Lue.
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"Just got to be smart about the situation," Lue said. "I know he wants to play and play a lot, but we've got to be smart because we play every other day, so there's not a lot of time really to recover.
"(He looks tired) just after the game, but not during the game. I think his mental toughness -- just being mentally prepared, not giving in to fatigue -- is a big part of who he is."
James looked back positively on the series against the Pacers, saying the adversity the Cavaliers faced should be a teacher moving forward. He also downplayed his individual success against Indiana.
"It's about what we did," James said. "I was just a big piece of the byproduct of just trying to help us advance. I had a lot of things that I had to do to try to help our team win, and I was satisfied with the fact that I was able to go out and make plays to help our team succeed and move onto the next round, and that's the most important thing."
And despite the heavy workload, James said he doesn't see it as a problem.
"It wasn't an issue," he said. "It's what I had to do to help us get to the second round. And we're worried about the second round now that we're here."
--Field Level Media