But it's the TYPE of shots he hit that are leaving the Celtics a little more comfortable with his performance than one might think. After the game, Doc said
I wasn't really okay with those dunks at the basket and things like that. Some of the turnaround jumpshots, we've been living with that and we're going to continue to live with that.
According to HoopData, 18 of LeBron's 26 shots came from beyond 10 feet. He was 5-6 from the 10-15 range… 5-8 from 16-23 feet… and 2-4 from 3.
That's 12-18 from 10 feet and out… or just about 66.7%.
In the 3 Celtics wins, LeBron was 12-38 from 10 feet and out, or about 31.6%
That's why Doc says they're going to continue living with that. Because the Celtics know that the way you deal with LeBron james is you turn him into a jump shooter and hope he doesn't get hot. He got hotter than hot last nght, and there was nothing the Celtics could do about it. The rest of the team, though, went 18-50.
This is like blackjack. Sometimes you play it the right way and you lose. The Celtics played LeBron the right way, at least in one sense, last night. They forced him to take jumpers. He only got to the rim FOUR times last night. That's 3 fewer than he's taken at the rim in any other game this series.
Now, there is the matter of getting up in his face and contesting those shots better. More Doc:
But he made a lot of tough ones. But I still didn't think we guarded him with the force that we have to guard LeBron. I thought he brought it to us, and we never gave it back. Maybe that's a better way of explaining it.
Sometimes a guy like LeBron James is going to burn you. But I feel like the Celtics aren't going to change much of what they did defensively in response to this. It's sounding like the Celtics will just want to do the things they did better, rather than mix things up too much.
One note on that: I did think Brandon Bass did a decent job on LeBron for a while there. I'm not sure how much more of that we'll see in Game 7, but we know it's an option.
What are the odds LeBron goes off like that again? Hard to say. He played better than we've seen in a LONG time. He's more than capable of doing it again. You'll read some glowing stuff about him today and he deserves that. But as awesome as he was last night, the Celtics have confidence that they can bring him back to earth.