For all the question marks surrounding Derrick Rose's health and inconsistent play this season, there's one player who knows what the former MVP will bring each night.
Speaking during Wednesday morning's shootaround in advance of Game 2 between the Bulls and Cavaliers, James said he wasn't surprised by Rose's 25-point outing in Game 1, a 99-92 Bulls victory.
"We expect a great Derrick Rose every night," James said. "He should be confident in his ability. He's proven he's elite."
James, who has faced the Bulls in two of the last three postseasons, is seeing a different Jimmy Butler this time around. The Marquette product was stout defensively on James, who scored just 19 points (six points fewer than his regular-season average) and scored 20 points on 7-for-16 shooting and added six assists. James said he's seeing a different Butler this time around for one simple reason.
"Confidence. That's what our league is all about," he said. "You get a coach to give you an opportunity and you add confidence to it."
Both Butler and Rose outplayed James in Game 1, and the four-time league MVP knows he'll need to be more aggressive in Game 2. But it's not individual for James, as the Cavaliers - who shot 42 percent as a team - must improve as a whole.
"I don't really like to go into a game thinking too much about how I'm going to perform," James said. "All I care about is how our team is going to perform. I've got a lot going on in my mind as far as the game plan and what I need to do to help our team win, and what our team needs to do to win, instead of worrying about how I'm going to approach the game."