Found November 08, 2012 on
Fox Sports Florida:
MIAMI LeBron James had plenty of critics to drive him last season on the way to his first championship. With many of the skeptics having gone on vacation, the general belief is James will have to rely mostly on self motivation to win another.
Then again, maybe not. The Miami small forwards dander has been raised.
With there still being some concern over how the Heats small ball will do against bigger teams, James looks to be using that as motivation.
Everybody is quick to try to find something about our team and say were too short or cant rebound or were too small, we need a big, James said. We heard that and won a championship. So it doesnt matter to us.
So go ahead and tell James the Heat are too short with converted power forward Chris Bosh starting at center, with converted small forward Shane Battier starting at power forward and with James also playing power forward and even some center. It might really fire him up.
The Heat are 4-1, but there has been talk about how well coach Erik Spoelstras position-less brand of play will do over the long haul. Denver coach George Karl has wondered if it is the best way to go.
The bigger Nuggets lost 119-116 last Saturday at Miami, but they outrebounded the Heat 47-32. Overall, this season Miami has been outrebounded by an average of 1.8 per game.
The Heat will see the Nuggets again next Thursday. Its one of a number of big teams Miami will run into on a six-game trip that starts Friday at Atlanta.
Also on the docket are Memphis, Houston, the Los Angeles Clippers and Phoenix.
This next road trip will test us very much, and we know this is a heck of a road trip, Spoelstra said. The type of teams that we are playing are big, physical frontcourt teams, so this is what everybody wants to see right now, and were looking forward to the challenge.
James always is up for a challenge. But he merely shrugs when asked about the Heat facing all these big teams.
Every team is taller than us,'' said the 6-foot-8 James, who mans a Miami frontline that also includes the 6-11 Bosh and 6-8 Battier. That doesn't mean theyre bigger than us. Height doesnt mean anything. Its the heart. Its the passion that you play the game of basketball. Some of the greatest players in the world are some of the shortest ones in the world to ever play this game.
The Heat beat Oklahoma City 4-1 in last Junes NBA Finals after they inserted Bosh as the starting center and won the final four games. Spoelstra this season has shown little interest in using a traditional center.
Joel Anthony has logged 16 minutes in three games. Dexter Pittman hasnt played a second all season.
Theres always going to be skeptics no matter what you do, Bosh said of the small lineup. We understand that we won a championship playing with the same lineup. So I dont think we have much to prove. We have to improve for ourselves . Rebounding is a huge part of it . So this road trip will be a very, very good test for us as far as size is concerned.
As for Boshs rebounding this season, its down from 7.9 per game to 7.2. But on a per-minute basis its actually slightly up since Bosh has gotten plenty of rest the past two games due to a pair of routs.
As for James, hes averaging 9.8 boards, on pace to top his career seasonal high by nearly two. So from his standpoint, James has a point about size being overrated.
But few have suggested the reigning MVP is height-challenged. Any Heat problem would be with other guys on the team.
Chris Tomassson can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @christomasson
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
FOREVER IN BLUE JEANS
Via Beer Mug Sports:
LeBron James hit Twitter on Thursday night to debut his new Lebron X denim sneakers. They feature a brown leather tongue with brown leather laces that seem better fit for winter boots than for the basketball court. They also feature pink soles and lace-holes. While LeBron haters might say that these would be better suited a teenage girl looking for something to match her purse with -- they probably will be a hit with sneakerheads, who had no problem shelling out major dollars for LeBrons that featured pink trim in the past. Both the LeBron 8s and LeBron 9s were widely popular in the "South Beach" colorway which featured teal and pink.
If paired with khakis, these might look too bad, however LeBron posted a second pic of him wearing the sneakers with lighter, possibly stone-washed colored jeans. Definitely not a good combination. Unless of course, you’re a fan of the Canadian Tuxedo.
I going to take a guess that most of you have never seen a pair of denim sneakers before and to be honest, I've never seen a pair either.Yesterday, Miami Heat star LeBron James tweeted some photos of his new LeBron James denim 10's and here they are:
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Jeff Teague hit consecutive 3-pointers as the Hawks rallied from a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter. But Josh Smith, on an awful night, missed two free throws with just over a minute...
Two of the best players in the NBA had embarrassing bloopers last night.
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The Brooklyn Nets (1-1) will make a trip to Florida to face the Miami Heat (3-1) for an Eastern Conference showdown. However, it will be a tall task for the Nets to leave South Beach with a win as Miami is undefeated at home early in the season. Not to mention the Nets have lost six in a row in Miami.
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While the Miami Heat are known for their offensive prowess, they're proving mighty stingy on the defensive end, too.
The Atlanta Hawks know all too well how hard it can be to generate offense against the defending NBA champions.
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The Heat (4-1) are coming...
LeBron James played under Mike Brown for several seasons with the Cavaliers.