It hasn't been just the playoffs that have been a grind on the center of the Cavaliers' universe.
Tatum entered Game 5 against the Cleveland Cavaliers averaging 18 points per game in the playoffs - a 4.1-point improvement from his regular-season mark.
Cleveland didn't make the Finals that season, nor did it the following year, leading to James infamously taking his talents to South Beach, where he won the first of his three National Basketball Association titles. It wasn't until Boston captured Game 5 that they finally became a series favorite.
Asked about the energy level of James, who finished with 26 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 6 turnovers, Lue responded, "He looked a little exhausted to me". The game showed why no one should be holding out hope for a Cavs comeback. I saw Ben Simmons against the Celtics, and it looked like moment was too big for him. "I didn't mention fatigue, [the media] did". "I know he'll be great come tomorrow".
LeBron James didn't have his best stuff in Game 5. "But there's no question in my mind he'll bounce back tomorrow". His 31.1 points per game were good though he had a career low 19.4% shooting from three-point land despite having the second most attempts from there in his postseason career (3.5 attempts per game with 0.7 makes).
The dustup occurred with about 10:47 remaining in the first half Wednesday at TD Garden.
LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers face a 3-2 series deficit in the Eastern Conference finals. Their entire lineup looked lifeless, while the Celtics got back to the balanced team play that brought them three victories. "For some reason, we were just so locked in, and engaged, as we have been in the past".
The Celtics shot just 36.5 percent from the floor in Game 5, but they fired off 85 shots - 11 more than the Cavaliers did.
Boston won the rebounding battle 45-39. The Cavs were forced into 15 turnovers. Another flawless performance by James should open up opportunities for the rest of the Cavs, continuing Boston's road struggles and extending the series.More news: Warriors fall to Rockets 95-92, series tied 2-2
For the first time since 2012, James will find himself in an Eastern Conference playoff series elimination scenario that is not a Game 7. Numerous turnovers were sloppy, careless passes.
"It has nothing to do with the guys that didn't play, " Stevens said, "because I think all those guys are ready to help when called upon and have great attitudes and have been great teammates and prepared just as well and hard as the guys that did". "I think that's when I have the most fun, when things are on the line".
The Boston Celtics maintained their ideal home record, and once again put all the pressure on the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Cavs got off to a rocky start, with five first-quarter turnovers almost matching their seven field goals.
James handles the ball more than anyone, so he has more chance to make mistakes. Fortunately for them, the Cavs played worse.
"We just gave him different looks", Smart said of the game plan versus James. Let's also remember Jordan only played in one more postseason after his age 33 one and try to forget the years he wore a Washington jersey as a shell of his former self. Morris had 13 points and six rebounds.
James, by the way, denies he's running on fumes.
"No. I'm fine, " James said.