James Ready for More Physical Play
LeBron James insists he’s not concerned about his safety on the court, but vows to brace for more hard fouls on Thursday in Game 6 of what has become a brutally physical playoff series between the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers.
“It may have gotten to that point. For me, it’s always at that point,” James said Wednesday after the Heat wrapped up practice and prepared to travel to Indiana. “I’m always in protect mode. For me, in the playoffs or the regular season, there are teams trying to go for me. It’s happened. I’m not saying guys are playing dirty, but certain guys say if you hard foul LeBron, get him off balance, he’ll stop being aggressive and things like that.”
After winning consecutive games to overcome an early 2-1 series deficit, the Heat are looking to close out the Pacers in Indiana and advance to the Eastern Conference finals for the second consecutive season. But James and his Heat teammates know they’ll likely have a fight on their hands.
Maybe even literally, considering how rough the play has gotten in the series over the past few games. James and Heat guard Dwyane Wade have attempted 46 and 45 free throws, respectively, through five games against Indiana.