After getting whipped in every way in Game One of the Eastern Conference finals, Lebron James promises that changes will be made. The Heat tried some new schemes against Indiana on Sunday and had little success
“We tried something coming into Game 1,” said James. “We’ll make our adjustments, as we did today, and we’ll be a better team tomorrow.”
Miami is favored by 2.5 over the home team Indiana Pacers, with the total set at 184.5. Despite being down 1-0, the Heat are still -195 to win the series.
After the team practice on Monday, James spoke to the media.
Question: The approaches you had previously against them, you on David West, Shane on Paul George, a little more. Were you surprised how many changes you guys made from your base approach to how you previously played them?
James: Well, we tried something coming into Game 1, and we’ll make our adjustments, as we did today, and we’ll be a better team tomorrow.
Question: Did you feel you needed to go in that direction in the first place? It seemed like you played them pretty straight up.
James: That’s neither here nor there at this point. We’re down 0-1. We can’t worry about what we did or how we came into Game 1. We have to learn from it and go into Game 2 with a better mindset.
Question: What do you think is the adjustment the team has to make overall?
James: Our pick and roll coverage could be better for sure. We cleaned a lot of things up today, and we’re ready for tomorrow.
Question: Historically, you guys have done very well after a loss. Do you take anything from that history into tomorrow’s game?
James: The experience can always be helpful to you, but you’re just going with the mindset it’s a must win, and we go at it tomorrow.
Question: When you look at the day after, does it look as bad or feel as bad as when you’re in it?
James: Nothing is that bad. We played a pretty good game. We had a couple breakdowns against a team that in the Eastern Conference Finals, you can’t have that many breakdowns. It wasn’t a bad game at all. We scored 97 points, got 54 points in the paint. We had 23 assists, only 11 turnovers. But we had some breakdowns defensively that allowed them to get some good shots.
Question: Even though Bosh had trouble shooting, was he in the right places? Was he kind of doing the right thing in general for you guys?
James: Well, he’s a space guy for us, but it would be great if we can mix it up a little bit with him and get some timely threes, some midrange, and also some attacks around the rim that make him even more dangerous.
Question: LeBron, as a leader of the team, will your approach personally change tomorrow, do you think?
James: Well, my approach is the same every game. Try to put pressure on the defense, try to get to the free?throw line, help us win outside. I didn’t get to the free-throw line as much as I would like, but I got to the rim, got my shots going. I’ve got to do a little more as well.
Question: You treated, I guess, in a sense, after that game against Brooklyn as a type of, well, we lost a tough game but didn’t play well defensively. You came out more aggressive mindset offensively after that. Do you think about that before a game?
James: We’re a team that gets better as a series goes on. We learn from our mistakes, and I think we did today going over our film session, things that we can do better. That’s a good thing about our team. We’re able to bounce back.
Question: When you say you didn’t get to the free-throw line enough, do you feel you need to be more aggressive?
James: I thought I was pretty aggressive. Honestly, you have to have a whistle to get to the free-throw line as well too. I thought I was aggressive. I had some good looks from the outside. But I was pretty aggressive.
Question: How would you characterize the mentality of this team when Udonis Haslem is part of the starting lineup?
James: We have a tougher frontcourt, obviously, when he’s out there. We’re a little bigger. Obviously, he’s not the biggest guy, as far as height and weight, but he is as far as a warrior mentality and heart for sure. So it definitely helps us. I’m not sure what the lineup is going to be tomorrow, but whoever comes into the game, whoever starts the game, we need all of them.
Question: When you’re matched up on David West, how much does that change how you play the pick and roll? Was that sort of a surprise for you to play the pick and roll as a defensive four?
James: It’s different. It’s a huge adjustment starting the game off that way. Able to spot on the four, I can do pretty effectively. It was definitely a challenge for me. I don’t think personally I was in the right spots at the right time.
Question: Were you surprised that Paul George is talking about the ease that he felt like he had when Battier was on him?
James: No, I didn’t see it because I don’t watch or listen or read.
Question: How would you describe the job that Battier did and whether it changes the defensive strategy?
James: Shane is a huge piece to our puzzle. Paul George got into a good rhythm in Game 1. Offensively he was very effective, very efficient. We’ve just got to do a better job on not only him but all of them.
Lance was very effective. C.J. was effective. George Hill was effective. All those guys, they got all those guys got what they wanted offensively, and we didn’t do a good enough job helping each other.
Question: Did you notice Lance was emotionally in check? He said, against the Heat I have to control my antics more. Did you notice him being any more subdued or contained and not trying to engage Wade?
James: I really don’t get involved in antics that have nothing to do with the game.
Question: LeBron, do you feel you’ve got to have more guys involved in the offense besides you and Dwyane?
James: We did have more guys involved. We just didn’t make the shots. When shots don’t come, we don’t worry about that. We had 23 assists. We only had 11 turnovers. Guys were involved.