James says they’ll “be ready” for the Pacers ahead of Conference finals.
The Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers begin their Conference finals series on Wednesday night, but the tension has already been turned up following comments from Frank Vogel.
During his post-game press conference on Saturday after the Pacers sealed the series win over the New York Knicks, he referred to the Heat as “just the next team” standing in the way in their quest for an NBA title.
While it is unclear as to whether Vogel meant anything by his comment or whether it was merely an innocent statement, LeBron James took exception to his assessment and made clear that Miami are ready for their rivals.
“We’re not just another team. I don’t understand what he’s saying. But we’re not just another team. That’s not true. He said we’re just another team in their way. We’re a great team. If we’re just another team, you really don’t prepare for just another team. You have to prepare for us,” he told reporters as quoted by ESPN.
James’ comments are slightly surprising as the league’s MVP rarely shows his emotions when discussing other teams in the NBA, and he was clearly upset with Vogel’s terminology.
These rivals met in the post season last year where Vogel engaged in a real war of words which ultimately saw him pick up a $15,000 fine for calling the Heat “the biggest flopping team in the NBA”.
With both teams enjoying successful playoff campaigns this time round, it promises to be an enthralling match-up and James is ready for action.
“We’re very confident. We’ll be ready for them. We don’t need bulletin-board material. We’ve heard everything, we’ve seen everything. But I would say we’re not just another team, though,” he added.
The 28-year-old also went on to accuse the Pacers of “reading what everyone else talks about” in terms of getting physical with the Heat in order to beat them.
However, considering they had a 2-1 record in the regular season, the Pacers arguably have their own blueprint to beating Miami and will undoubtedly be ready for battle when they get underway on Wednesday.