Heat coach Spoelstra echoes sentiment and doesn’t care much for Pacers situation.
Miami Heat star LeBron James has insisted that the criticism that the Indiana Pacers are facing right now will never compare to that which his team went through in 2011.
The Heat forward revealed that while he has kept an eye on their situation this season, he isn’t concerning himself too much with it as he remains focused on helping Miami win a third consecutive championship.
However, he does believe that the scrutiny that Indiana are facing at this point is nothing compared to what he and team-mates Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade went through in their first season together.
“I can’t put the 2010-11 criticism that we got … it will never compare to any other team,” James said prior to the loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday night, as reported by ESPN.
“I don’t know what they’re dealing with. Obviously, I watch television and I can hear some of the frustration that’s coming out of that team, but as far as the criticism and the scrutiny, it will never compare to our team.”
The Pacers have lost five of their last six and 12 of their last 19 games to fall below Miami in the Eastern Conference standings having led the way for almost the entire regular season.
Indiana coach Frank Vogel has since insisted that he will likely rest his key players ahead of the post-season, with the likes of Roy Hibbert, Paul George and David West showing signs of tiredness in recent weeks.
Meanwhile, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra agreed with James in that Miami faced much worse after making a 9-8 start to the season with the ‘Big Three’ and then going on to drop six of seven games after the All-Star break.
Nevertheless, he openly admitted that he wasn’t going to “waste one piece of thought” on their situation and is concerning himself solely with ensuring his team finish the season strong.
However, he will also be hoping to pile more pressure on them when the pair face off in Miami on Friday night, and with just one game separating them in the loss column, the result could have significant implications on who takes the top seed and home-court advantage in the East.