When LeBron James only scored 11 points in a 111-108 loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday, people were wondering exactly what was wrong with the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar.
James was shut out in the fourth quarter as the Celtics clawed their way back from a 21-point deficit to win on a last-second shot by Avery Bradley.
LeBron bounced back a bit in a Game 4 victory on Tuesday night, but those who know King James the best still thought he was sluggish.
According to veteran forward Richard Jefferson, the poor Game 3 performance can be attributed to illness, as he says in the video below that there's a bug going around with several of the Cavaliers:
"Deron Williams missed shoot-around this morning because he had a little bug," Jefferson says in the video. "He was very lethargic, had no energy. I think that's what Bron had."
But, Jefferson continued, in typical LeBron fashion, he wasn't even aware he was sick until seeing the symptoms Williams was suffering from:
"When Deron didn't show up to shoot-around, it kind of started clicking in his head, because for him, it was more of like 'I don't know why I was so lethargic, why I had no energy, I had nothing,'" Jefferson said. "These little things happen - it was no panic. LeBron was lethargic and they hit a bunch of tough shots. If Marcus Smart doesn't go 7-for-10 from three, we're not even talking about this."
Since James scored 34 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out six assists on Tuesday night, it seems as if he's feeling better. However, it was Kyrie Irving who stole the show in Game 4, scoring a game-high 42 points in the 112-99 victory.
The Cavaliers are back in Boston for Game 5 on Thursday night, where they won Games 1 and 2 in lopsided fashion. Though Williams' availability isn't known at this time, having a healthy LeBron is the most important thing for Cleveland as it looks to close out the series.
The Celtics are without star point guard Isaiah Thomas, as they were in Games 3 and 4 after Thomas injured his hip - re-aggravating an injury he first suffered earlier this season.
If the Celtics are going to avoid elimination in front of their home fans, they'll need to keep LeBron contained and also prevent Irving from exploding for 42 points again. If LeBron is back to full strength, though, Boston may soon shift into offseason mode as the Cavs advance to the NBA Finals.