The 33-year-old took the Wine & Gold to NBA Championship glory two years ago but Cleveland were convincingly beaten in last year’s finals by the Golden State Warriors.
The Cavs are a weaker team this year than last after losing Kyrie Irving and their defensive efficiency has come under scrutiny throughout the regular season, where they ended as the Eastern Conference’s fourth seed.
Meanwhile the Pacers, who lost 4-0 to James and co. at this stage of the post-season last year, established themselves as an energetic offensive outfit in 2017-18.
While they remain the underdogs because of the Cavs’ own offensive potential, four-time MVP James known for taking it up a notch in the playoffs, there is certainly danger that the Victor Oladipo-led Pacers could cause a shock.
Yet LeBron has no such worries.
“I don’t have any concerns,” he told reporters while previewing tonight’s Game 1 of the first-round series (8.30pm start UK time).
“Listen, it’s going to be a very good match-up. It’s four-[vs]-five for a reason.
“Both teams played good ball at times throughout the regular season. Obviously their season, from the outside looking in, was more productive than ours because of what they went through in the offseason.
“But we went through a lot in the offseason as well. It’s a good match-up and we look forward to the challenge.
“Every team I’ve been on has always been prepared going into the first round of post-season and I feel like we’re very prepared again.”
James has featured in the playoffs for the last 13 years and never once exited in the first round. Indeed, he has won his last 21 consecutive matches since May 2012 – a run he is looking forward to try and maintain this evening.
“The playoffs is always exciting,” he added. “To have an opportunity to be back playing basketball in April, I’ll never take it for granted.
“Out of the 30 teams, 14 teams don’t make it. I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of it for 13 straight years and it’s always fun.
“I didn’t get to experience March Madness because I skipped college but to be a part of the playoffs for 13 straight years gives me my fix.”