When LeBron James joined forces with Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade in Miami he could have never imagined he would have to carry them on his shoulders for several games in an Eastern Conference finals series.
But James has had to do just that against the Indiana Pacers.
James will need all the help he can get to give the Heat a chance to beat the Pacers in Game 7 Monday night.
“There’s not much I can say,” said Chris Bosh, who has not scored more than seven points in a game since Game 3. “Just really disappointed in myself. … It’s not really going my way in this series.”
The Heat’s other star, Dwyane Wade, is shooting 44.2% from the field in the conference finals and hasn’t reached 20 points since the first round against the Milwaukee Bucks.
“We can state the obvious: They’re both struggling,” James said. “They’re two great players. So when they don’t shoot well or play well, it’s more them. I’m not discrediting Indiana’s defense. But I think Dwyane and Chris have seen every defense that’s ever been applied to them in their 10-year careers, and they’ve been able to figure it out. This one just took a little longer.”
“Chris is struggling with his shot, and hurting his ankle didn’t help him. He will find it. It’s my job as a leader to keep him motivated, to let him know how important he is to our movement (and) to our chances of returning to the Finals.”
James has said several times throughout the playoffs that Wade is not 100 percent because of his knee injury. He credits the 31-year-old for still giving it everything he has.
James has led the Heat in scoring (28.5), rebounding (7.2) and assists (5.5) in this series. He is also shooting 51.6 percent and making 43.8 percent of his threes.
“I probably won’t be able to relax [leading up to Monday’s game] just because of the excitement of having Game 7 in our building, the opportunity to go to the NBA Finals,” James said. “I probably will not be able to relax until the game starts.
“To have one game to advance to the NBA Finals — you can’t substitute this feeling. We should all cherish this moment.”
James is 1-2 in his career in seventh games.