A first opening-round playoff loss since 2012 stirred no panic for LeBron James, who believes the Cleveland Cavaliers' 98-80 defeat to the Indiana Pacers will be a learning experience for his less seasoned team-mates.
James scored 24 points in 44 minutes and registered a triple-double for the Cavs on Sunday, but could not prevent them from falling 1-0 behind in the best-of-seven series as the Pacers rolled to an impressive road victory behind 32 points from Victor Oladipo.
But James saw little reason to lose his calm following the loss, pointing to the 3-1 deficit the Cavs faced in the 2016 NBA Finals with the Golden State Warriors as a considerably more dire situation that they ultimately turned around.
James said: "I've always stayed even-keeled with the postseason. 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."
However, James does not have the support of All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, now with the Boston Celtics, with this Cavs team markedly different from the one that stunned the Warriors in the second of their three successive Finals meetings.
Jordan Clarkson made his playoff debut while Rodney Hood started in the postseason for the first time in his career.
But James believes the defeat can be a positive for those players less familiar with the playoffs as the Cavs aim to wrest the title back from the Warriors.
"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."
Asked why the Cavs suffered a reverse that ended his 21-game winning streak in the first round, James replied: "I think the intensity. How much different a regular-season game is compared to a postseason game. It happens that fast. You always hear people say in the regular season, sometimes it's a 'playoff-type atmosphere'. Eh, you can't simulate that. You can't simulate that speed. You can't simulate what's going on out there.
"So today was definitely a good test for some of our younger guys, and like I said, I think they'll be a lot better, especially in game two. And not just them. Even the older guys as well.
"Some of the guys even with experience, including myself, I can be a lot better as well. So we take it as everybody has to dig deep and not lose two of them on our home floor."
Cleveland host Indiana again in game two on Wednesday.
|Barty upsets Kerber in Wuhan|
|England could still pick Cipriani despite training camp snub|
|Astros become first defending champions to reach 100 wins since 1990 Athletics|
|Wilder waiting for ´real offer´ to fight Joshua|
|LeBron focusing on patience after first Lakers practice|
|Pochettino expects Spurs in new stadium by Christmas|
|Inzaghi: With Ronaldo, Juve are best team in Europe|
|Some people talk too much – Icardi hits back at critics|
|Kovac, Robben praise Augsburg after draw|
|Angels star Ohtani to undergo Tommy John surgery|
|Simeone tips Gimenez to be fit for Madrid derby|
|Smith on his NBA Finals miscue: People make mistakes all the time|
|Rams CB Talib to have ankle surgery|
|Cousins ´feeling a lot better´, still unsure when he´ll return|
|I knew we´d be in trouble with Jones on penalties – Mourinho|
|Coyotes forward Galchenyuk expected to miss opener|
|Guardiola won´t compare Foden to Iniesta|
|Lampard shell-shocked as Derby win at Old Trafford|
|Ryder Cup 2018: USA celebrities take the honours|
|Manchester United´s torrid penalty shoot-out run continues against Derby|
|Guardiola: Foden already a great, great player|
|Atletico Madrid 3 Huesca 0: Rojiblancos cruise ahead of Madrid derby|
|EFL Cup: Lampard dumps out Mourinho, Burnley lose at Burton Albion|
|Mourinho denies Pogba row despite stripping midfielder of vice-captaincy|
|Fabinho situation not complicated, insists Klopp|
|Manchester United 2 Derby County 2 (Derby win 8-7 on pens): Lampard heaps pressure on Mourinho|
|Afghanistan snatch tie after Shahzad pummels India|
|Inter 2 Fiorentina 1: D´Ambrosio maintains Nerazzurri revival|
|Oxford United 0 Manchester City 3: Foden stars as EFL Cup holders cruise into round four|
|Cousin takes Gabon post after Aubameyang rejection|
|Bayern Munich 1 Augsburg 1: Neuer error costs champions|
|Paris Saint-Germain must be a Champions League force to help Neymar - Baptista|
|Salgado warns of ´war´ in Spanish football|
|Cech deserves Arsenal place, says Seaman|
|Halep and Garcia among seeds to fall in Wuhan|
|F1 Raceweek: Mercedes taking no comfort in points advantage|
|Benitez charged by FA for referee comment relating to Zaha treatment|
|Cibulkova dumps out hampered Halep in Wuhan|
|Mourinho questions his players amid reports Pogba won´t captain United again|
|European Ryder Cup diary: Fleetwood´s hair delights Poulter|
|USA Ryder Cup diary: Tiger´s roaring reception, McEnroe´s bold prediction|
|Loans to be limited under new FIFA proposal|
|Prolific Nadolo signs new Montpellier contract|
|Modric? For us, Messi is the best – Valverde|
|Murray makes winning start in Shenzhen|
|Mickelson would cherish first victory on European soil|
|Hodge hoping pressure proves too much for South Africa|
|Woodward in show of support for under-fire Mourinho|
|Mickelson jokes he wants ´a shot a side´ from Tiger in Thanksgiving showdown|
|Reed: Captain America is a villain in Europe|
|Duminy to captain Proteas as Elgar replaces injured Amla|
|No Tottenham timeline for Lloris, Vorm returns|
|Woods ready for ´awesome environment´ on Ryder Cup opening hole|
|Tony Bellew determined to prove doubters wrong against Oleksandr Usyk|
|Tuchel explains why he likes Neymar at number 10|
|Manchester United smash revenue record but profits down|
|Furyk downplays Ryder Cup pairings talk, says Tuesday is about individuals|
|Rejuvenated Tiger out to improve poor Ryder Cup record|
|Saunders fined £100,000 for ´sickening´ online video|
|Hazard can reach his full potential with Sarri´s Chelsea - Zola|
|Ryder Cup heading back in Europe´s direction, says Niall Horan|
|Wow! Klopp hails Sarri´s Chelsea transformation|
|Giovinazzi to partner Raikkonen at Sauber in 2019|
|Bjorn backs ´phenomenal´ Rahm to continue trend of Spanish success|
|Durant in no rush to decide Warriors future|
|Rossi to face anti-doping hearing|
|Mignolet to return for Liverpool against Chelsea|
|Premier League ´interesting´ for Germany boss Low|
|Wilder wins Twitter vote to be Joshua´s next opponent|
|BREAKING NEWS: Isco an El Derbi doubt due to appendicitis|