LeBron James criticizes Pacers’ late-game strategy against Celtics

LeBron James criticizes Pacers’ late-game strategy against Celtics

two about clutch moments. The Lakers superstar, who’s navigated countless nail-biters in both the regular season and playoffs, has a plan for every situation. And although he’s not lacing up for the 2024 NBA Playoffs, he’s still got his eye on the action from home.

In the aftermath of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, LeBron couldn’t hold back his criticism of the Indiana Pacers‘ defensive strategy in the final seconds of regulation. The Pacers had a 117-114 lead with just 8.1 seconds left on the clock. The Celtics were inbounding from the baseline, and everyone in the arena knew it was crunch time.

LeBron took to Twitter to blast the Pacers for not fouling the Celtics when they had the chance. “Foul up 3!” he tweeted emphatically, echoing a strategy that’s become second nature for many teams in such situations. The idea is simple: by fouling, you prevent the trailing team from having a chance to tie the game with a three-pointer. Instead, you turn the final moments into a free-throw contest.

But the Pacers didn’t heed that advice. They let the clock wind down, and Jaylen Brown seized the moment, sinking a game-tying shot with 6.0 seconds left. The game spilled into overtime, where the Celtics eventually emerged victorious, taking a crucial 1-0 series lead.

LeBron doubles down, cites “Mind the Game” Podcast with JJ Redick

LeBron’s criticism didn’t stop there. He pointed to his recent appearance on the “Mind the Game” podcast with JJ Redick, where he discussed the nuances of defending a three-point lead in the dying seconds of a game. It’s clear that LeBron, a future Hall of Famer, would have handled the situation differently if he were on the court.

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