James ready to bounce back from disappointing performance in Game 3.
Miami Heat star LeBron James is ready to do “whatever it takes” in order to snatch back the initiative from the San Antonio Spurs in Game 4 of the NBA Finals 2013.
James was speaking after one of the worst postseason performances of his career in Tuesday night’s 36-point loss to the Spurs in Game 3, and is clearly in the mood to put things right when they take to the court on Thursday.
The league MVP went 7-for-21 from the field and didn’t attempt a single free throw all night for only the second time in his playoff career.
He praised the Spurs defensive schemes against him, as coach Gregg Popovich continues to pack the paint and prevent James from getting to the rim.
“We’re guarding him with five guys,” Duncan told reporters on Wednesday as quoted by ESPN. “We understand what kind of player he is. He’s the best player in the world, so we’re respecting him as that. We’re trying to make his life as difficult as possible every time he touches the ball.”
Instead, the 28-year-old has facilitated and got his team-mates involved, yet it requires more from a scoring point of view if he is to help turn things around for the Heat.
He understands that he might need to be more aggressive and put early pressure on the Spurs defence, with Kawhi Leonard particularly doing an impressive job of limiting his rival.
As a result, James is shooting just 38.9 percent from the field and is averaging 16.7 points, 12.3 rebounds, 7.3 assists and 2.0 turnovers.
The Spurs have been more than happy to force James and the Heat to take mid-range jump shots, something that Miami paid particular attention to in practice on Wednesday. While their three-point shooters have found a good stroke, the likes of James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh have struggled to find consistency.
Coach Erik Spolestra knows the importance of getting out in transition quickly, a trademark of this Heat team, but with the Spurs limiting turnovers and knocking down shots like Gary Neal and Danny Green did on Tuesday, it is difficult to find a way to counter that.
“They’re are putting me in a position where they can crowd me a lot. I’m going to … do a better job of attacking their defense (Thursday),” James told the media.
If the Heat are to snatch back the momentum in this series, it will require a much better effort from their leader.