LeBron James commented today on the Pacers’ attempt to play physical with the Heat and get in their faces.
“Whatever he’s trying, it is not working,” LeBron said of Danny Granger. “He’s said he’s not scared of LeBron, I want to let (James) know. I guess he’s doing it for his own psyche. It’s stupid.”
Granger has picked up technical fouls in each of the last three games and gotten into LeBron’s face as well.
In Game 4, the strategy by the Pacers to do this did not seem to work as it seemed to awaken Dwyane Wade and LeBron who went off in the second half as the Heat came back to beat the Pacers in Indiana and tie the series.
“I think there is a line and I’m tip-toeing it,” Granger said. “That’s a product of the chip on my shoulder and we have on our shoulder as a team of not being respected. That goes not just for this series, but all year. We had the fourth or fifth best record in the NBA and I think we only had one televised game. Three or four teams that didn’t make the playoffs had more televised games than us. It was just a matter of being disrespected nationally.”
Granger can feel this way and that’s ok but it might not be the greatest idea to get LeBron and Wade riled up.
Despite losing Game 4, the Pacers are still confident they can win this series and they should be. They beat the Heat in Game 2 in Miami and both of their wins have come when All-Star center Roy Hibbert has had big games.
In Game 4, Hibbert and David West were in foul trouble and it helped allow LeBron and Wade to get going and attack the paint which they did very efficiently.
Hibbert and West will have to play big for Indiana to have a chance as Chris Bosh is still out with his injury and inside is where the Pacers have their biggest advantage.
Granger too will need to step up as he hasn’t played very well at all this series while he’s mostly been matched up with LeBron.
The Heat shot terribly from three in the first two games at home and that was a big reason why Indiana kept those games close and won one of them. The role players for Miami picked up their shooting somewhat in Game 4 and one would expect them to be better for Game 5.