Jefferson explained after Tuesday's game that James looked lethargic because he was afflicted by a team bug that was going around, not because the Boston Celtics had suddenly solved the best player in the world.
"I know he won't talk about it so I'll give my big guy a shot. Deron Williams missed shootaround this morning because he had a bug, just really lethargic with no energy. I think that's what 'Bron had," Jefferson said.
"Sometimes these little bugs can go around ... when Deron didn't show up to shootaround, it started clicking in his head. Because for him it was more of like, 'I don't know why I was so lethargic, why I had no energy, I had nothing.'"
James looked noticeably off in Game 3 as he snapped an eight-game streak of scoring over 30 per game by dropping 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting in a loss. Those struggles carried over into the first half of Game 4, in which James picked up four fouls in a half for the first time in his career and mostly sat passenger to Kyrie Irving until the fourth quarter.
But Jefferson says none of this would even be a storyline if the Celtics didn't take Game 3 - a match he suggested came down to streaky shooting by some erratic snipers.
"These little things happen, it was no panic. Look, he was lethargic, they hit a bunch of tough shots. If Marcus Smart doesn't go 7-for-10 from three, we're not even talking about it," Jefferson said.