LeBron James has led the Heat in scoring in all six games against the Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals, but his teammates are begging to get more involved in the offense.
MIAMI — Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh need more touches if the Miami Heat hope to advance to the NBA Finals. At least that’s the take of Wade, who implied LeBron James is trying to will the team to victory by himself.
“We’ve got guys individually who want to play better,” Wade said Saturday night. “But we’ve got to try to help each other out in this locker room and not leave it up to the individual to self-will it.”
James said after the Heat won Game 5 that the victory was reminiscent of his Cleveland Cavaliers’ days. Without expounding on his overriding message, James was pointing to his increased production, apparently necessitated by the decline in output from the other two members of the “Big Three,” Wade and Bosh.
Wade and Bosh were 4 of 19 combined with 15 points in Game 6, which the Pacers won, 91-77.
“I’m really disappointed in myself,” Bosh said. “… I have to play better in Game 7. It’s as simple as that.”
Bosh was 1-of-8 shooting with five points and has scored less than 10 in three consecutive games.
“I mean, we can state the obvious — they’re both struggling,” James said Saturday. “When you’re struggling, the best thing to get is a layup or a dunk. (Wade) missed a couple of them … Chris is struggling with his shot and him hurting his ankle (in Game 4) didn’t help.”
Wade said the Heat can’t be a one-man show and still be successful. James said he’s open to looking at film and trying to find solutions before the series-deciding seventh game tonight in Miami.
Bosh refused to blame the ankle sprain for his poor play and Wade said rhythm is a bigger factor in his downtick in scoring than the bone bruise on his right knee. NBA analyst Steve Kerr said Wade’s knee hindered confidence in his jumpshot, and the Pacers are defending to cut off penetration, almost unconcerned with his 3-point shooting.
“We’ve got to do a good job of making sure me and Chris have our opportunities to succeed throughout the game,” Wade said. “That’s something we’re going to have to look at as a team.
“…I get a little more rhythm defensively, I get to defend every play,” Wade said. “Offensively, I don’t get the ball every play. So it comes a little different. You know, the rhythm is a little different.”
Hibbert issues apology for ‘insensitive remarks,’ fined $75,000 by league
INDIANAPOLIS — The NBA fined Roy Hibbert on Sunday $75,000 for using vulgar and homophobic slur during his postgame interview Saturday.
Earlier in the day, Hibbert issued an apology through the team and reached out via Twitter to openly gay NBA veteran Jason Collins.
“While Roy has issued an apology, which is no doubt sincere, a fine is necessary to reinforce that such offensive comments will not be tolerated by the NBA,” NBA Commissioner David Stern said in a statement.
Hibbert was questioned about his defense on LeBron James in the 91-77 Indiana Pacers victory over the Miami Heat, which forced a seventh and deciding game tonight in Miami.
“I am apologizing for insensitive remarks made during the postgame press conference after our victory over Miami Saturday night,” Hibbert said in a statement issued Sunday morning. “They were disrespectful and offensive and not a reflection of my personal views. I used a slang term that is not appropriate in any setting, private or public, and the language I used definitely has no place in a public forum, especially over live television. I apologize to those who I have offended, to our fans and to the Pacers’ organization. I sincerely have deep regret over my choice of words last night.”
Hibbert first took offense with media questioning why he finished 10th in Defensive Player of the Year award voting.
“You know what, because y’all mother(expletive) don’t watch us play throughout the year, to tell you the truth,” Hibbert said. “I don’t care if I get fined.”
When discussing Game 6 and his defense on James, Hibbert ran afoul again.
“There was Game 3 here that I felt I let Paul (George) down in terms of having his back when LeBron was scoring in the post or getting into the paint because they stretched me out so much — no homo (laughing) — but I want to be there for him,” Hibbert said. “I think he has a chance to be MVP of this league next year.”