No team has proven capable of shutting down LeBron James since he came into the NBA in 2003, but those with Tom Thibodeau on its coaching staff have fared among the best at beating him.
After a 93-86 loss to the Chicago Bulls in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series, James fell to 21-27 against teams with defenses orchestrated by Thibodeau. James is 8-8 (including the postseason) as a member of the Heat against Thibodeau's Bulls.
James was 11-13 with the Cavaliers against the Celtics while Thibodeau was running Boston's defense from 2007-10, and 2-6 against Houston Rockets teams with Thibodeau on staff from 2003-07.
While James has had good individual success, his teams have been very inefficient against Thibodeau's defenses. Since the 2010-11 season when he joined the Heat -- which also coincided when Thibodeau became head coach of the Bulls -- the Heat's 91.3 points per 100 possessions marks their lowest offensive efficiency against any single opponent, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
James, who averaged 28 points a game in four regular season games against the Bulls this season, scored just two points in the first half of Game 1 but finished with 24 points on 8-of-17 shooting.
"They just put themselves in a better position," James said. "It's tough. This is what the playoffs are all about. We're going against a really good team, and we know that. So we'll prepare (Tuesday) and get ready for Game 2."