The only way to avoid it, though, is with a robust reaction to the wakeup call they didn't think they needed.
Of course, the Cleveland Cavaliers don't just have to play great to win, but they also have to stop the super team of the Golden State Warriors if they want to capture their second consecutive NBA Championship. Frankly, he's putting up one of the best NBA Finals performances in recent memory.
To hear them tell it, they're eyes have been appropriately widened. It's emotional. It's possibly the last game of the season, so you definitely don't want to give up anything easy. "So you know they're going to come out and play with a sense of urgency, play with that energy from the beginning".
Referees took center stage in Game 4.
With the Cavaliers Game 4 victory, they brought the Warriors 15 game win streak to an end. But the Warriors, back at home, will still come out on top. They can switch almost everything defensively and the offense has more pace and space.
Conditions are ripe for the Warriors to summon their inner exterminator. They're thinking about him while they watch, when the go home, while they sleep, and while they brush their teeth in the morning.
The celebrating after Game 4 was done by Cavaliers fans, not Golden State players, their families or anyone else dressed in blue and gold who came looking for a historic party. "We may do some of that".
"I love the vibe we had in the locker room after the game, understanding what we need to do differently to play better", he said. He's only averaging 33 minutes per game in the NBA Finals. "That's up to us".
Irving played just one game before injuring his knee in the first Finals meeting between these teams in 2015.
James said the Cavs were upset about comments from Golden State's Draymond Green about wanting to celebrate a title on Cleveland's floor for the second time in three seasons. "But we knew what we were faced with. Then, in the half court, we did a good job of just staying physical, staying on his body and trying to trap him when we had the chance". "Not going to exactly give you my opinion on how I can see it from both sides". And they can duplicate that. "We're ready to live in it".
Cleveland burned the Warriors on 24-of-45 shooting from 3-point range on Friday. Kyrie Irving ran a pick-and-roll with Tristan Thompson, and the Cavs turned it over as Stephen Curry jumped the passing lane and got the ball.
"That's a big difference", Golden State guard Klay Thompson said. "They have done it throughout the whole playoffs. If they make tough threes over us when can nearly live with those instead of the stare down, rhythm - you can make a sandwich before someone can out there and you knock it down". If they're comfortable, they can definitely do it again.
But there's no indication that the 3-1 talk is going to get to the Warriors.
That's the thought. That's the reality. For at least one night, there was nothing the Warriors could do about it.