INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- After all the heartbreak Cleveland has been through as a pro sports city, seeing the Cavaliers drop Games 3 and 4 of the Eastern Conference finals to the Toronto Raptors has caused some to wonder if there is a panic setting in about what pitfalls could come next.
LeBron James, for one, appears impervious to such a suggestion.
"Just a sense of calmness," James, speaking after Cavs shootaround Wednesday morning, said of his mindset in preparation for Game 5. "That's all. Just a very calm moment for myself, personally. I relish this opportunity to be a part of the postseason once again, to be 2-2 on my home floor, so, a sense of calmness. I think (his teammates will) follow that."
James has good reason to stay even keeled.
For his career, his teams have gone 6-6 in Game 5s with the series tied 2-2. He's averaged 32 points, 8.6 rebounds and 6.8 assists in those games.
"I've been on both sides, I've been on the side that's went up 3-2, I've been on the side that's went down 3-2," James said. "So, obviously when the series is tied 2-2, that's a pivotal game. Obviously. We all know that. We want to come out with the mindset and the understanding of how important this game is to both teams and have a sense of urgency from the beginning."
While James has split the Game 5s he's played in, he is 17-0 all time in series during which his team has taken a 2-0 lead, like the Cavaliers had against the Raptors.
James is averaging 25 points, 8.5 rebounds and 6.5 assists in the conference finals while shooting 64.4 percent from the field. When asked what he feels about some calling for him to do even more to help the Cavs succeed, James replied, "I'll let you answer that."
Las Vegas certainly isn't panicking about the Cavs' predicament. Bovada updated its championship odds Wednesday to put Cleveland as the overall favorite to win at 7-5, ahead of Oklahoma City Thunder at 8-5.
"I am a confident guy," James said after Game 4. "I'm always confident in my ability and what I can bring to my team, whatever the case may be, whatever the circumstances are. Going back home, we have to play a lot better, and I think we will."