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LeBron James refuses to panic after heavy loss to the Pacers in game one

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The Cleveland Cavaliers' heavy 98-80 loss to the Indiana Pacers in game one of their first-round playoff series represents a first for LeBron James.

It's the first time in his career that he's gone down 0-1 following the opening game of the postseason.

This particular situation may be new to the King but facing a deficit in the playoffs certainly isn't.

LeBron was involved in the most famous comeback in NBA history as he played a huge role in helping the Cavs overcome a 3-1 deficit to win the 2016 championship against the Golden State Warriors.

That experience means the three-time champion isn't worried about this latest hole that Cleveland is in.

Instead, he has confidence going into game two despite a poor performance on both ends of the floor on Sunday.

"I've always stayed even-keeled with the postseason," James said post-game, per ESPN's Dave McMenamin. "I mean, I'm down 0-1 in the first round. I was down 3-1 in the Finals. So I'm the last guy to ask about how you're going to feel the next couple days."

Cleveland Cavaliers v New York Knicks

But this feels like a different situation compared to recent years and particularly 2016.

The Wine and Gold have just four players on their roster from that historic title-winning squad and are missing the brilliance of Kyrie Irving to help James carry the load.

Instead, they have an inexperienced mix of players as the likes of Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. made their playoff debuts. Rodney Hood was also making his first playoff start.

Clarkson shot just 2-of-6 and Hood scored just seven points on 3-of-7 shooting. Even veteran Jeff Green struggled badly as he went scoreless on 0-for-7 shooting.

Indiana Pacers v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game One

According to LeBron, it was a rude awakening for some of his teammates getting their first taste of competing in the playoffs on a championship-contending team.

"We had some guys in their first time out there playing in this setting, and they definitely ... Like I told you guys, you always ask me, 'Is there anything you can tell them [about the playoffs]?' Listen, experience is the best teacher, and they got it today," James said.

"I think everybody is going to be a lot more calm and a lot more precise in what we want to do, too. So it's definitely a feel-out game. We'll see what they're going to do."

The 33-year-old has seen it all during his 15 years in the league and will certainly look to transmit calm throughout the team.

Cleveland Cavaliers v New York Knicks

But the reality is they're in danger of going to Indiana with a 0-2 deficit which would put their chances of progressing into serious doubt.

A repeat of their horrible defensive showing in game one won't give them a great chance to win so they'll have to come out with a sense of urgency and put in a better effort.

Wednesday night's game two at Quicken Loans Arena has now turned into their biggest game of the season.

Listen HERE to the first episode of the new GiveMeSport NBA podcast, featuring former Cleveland Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin.

Enjoy, and please subscribe for all future episodes.

Topics:
Central Division
Eastern Conference
NBA
LeBron James
Cleveland Cavaliers
Kevin Love

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