James looking to help his team bounce back from Game 1 defeat.
Miami Heat star LeBron James has noted that he understands what is required of him to help his team level the NBA Finals with the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday night.
The league MVP received some criticism after Game 1, despite recording a triple double consisting of 18 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists, there were situations in the stretch where the 28-year-old distributed rather than attacked for himself.
His lack of aggressiveness and decision-making has been scrutinised again after Thursday night, but James has hit back by stating he has posted up better numbers previously in his career and has still come out on the losing side.
“When I was in Cleveland, we played Orlando in the Eastern Conference finals and I think I averaged 38, 36, or whatever I averaged,
“I guess I should have done more in that series as well. But I can’t. … I do what’s best for the team. What’s best for the team, it doesn’t always result in a win.”
James received support from both teams after Game 1, with Spurs coach Gregg Popovich standing up for him and stating that he knows better than anyone what the best approach is and how to improve in the next game.
“He’s a grown man. He doesn’t need any of you to tell him anything. He knows more than all of you put together. He understands the game.
“If he makes a pass and you all think he should have shot it, or he shoots it and you think he should have made a pass, your opinions mean nothing to him, as they should not mean anything to him.”
San Antonio did a great job of shrinking the floor and packing the paint in the first meeting, thus forcing James and his team-mates to take difficult outside shots. However, as pointed out by James, they also had a lot of open shots, and will look to make those count on Sunday.
The Heat have made a habit of falling behind after Game 1, but have then gone on to be utterly dominate in getting past their opponents.
They will hope for a similar outcome this time round, starting with a home win to tie the series before heading to San Antonio for Game 3 next week.