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LeBron James calls playing power forward “taxing”

May 17, 2012, 11:56 AM EDT

Indiana Pacers v Miami Heat - Game Two Getty Images

LeBron James looked fatigued at the end of games. When he is fatigued he settles for jump shots rather than attack the rim. When he settles for jumpers everyone talks about how he will not take over at the end of games.

LeBron admitted that he was fatigued at the end of Game 2 in part because with Chris Bosh out he’s had to play a lot more power forward. Here is the exact quote via the Miami Herald.

“It’s a lot more taxing being in there with bigger guys,” James said. Defensively “is the biggest difference. When you’re on the perimeter, there’s more space. The interior is more cramped and physical. … But I’m ready for the challenge.”

LeBron did a solid defensive job on David West in Game 2 (he was 5-13 overall), but that is a big strong man and covering him no doubt wears you down.

Which ties into the second key issue here — without Bosh LeBron played the entire second half. During the regular season LeBron had the second best PER in the league in the fourth quarter (behind Chris Paul) but with the Heat’s rotations he usually sat to start the fourth and came back in around the seven-minute mark. He was rested and more aggressive

Not any more.

Now LeBron has to power through. Literally.

And if the Heat are going to win Game 3 and this series, he is going to have to find the energy not to physically fade, not to settle for jumpers late in the game. He needs to attack.

  1. explosionsauce - May 17, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    Do you straight up use ESPN headlines?

  2. pl4tinum514 - May 17, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    So… is this going to be Lebron’s media-manufactured excuse when the Pacers beat the Heat? He ran out of “energy” playing against the power forwards on the Pacers, and it tired him out?

    Give me a friggin break.

  3. dgbk - May 17, 2012 at 1:01 PM

    i would cut him some slack ….if he was going against a 4 that was backing him down and trying to dunk on him very play… david west wants to shoot jumpers and hooks this is not blake griffin he is guarding…… after one game to say it’s taxing is silly, why publicy out a weakness.

  4. metalhead65 - May 17, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    that’s right lebron it can get tiring when you are the best player on the court and have to play a whole game when the team needs you. why I can remember Bird,Magic,and Michael all saying the same thing back in the day when they were winning all those titles. no wait surprise surprise they didn’t! they sucked it up and did everything they could to win without offering up excuses! you want to be the thought of as the greatest with doing what it takes to be it,sorry but it takes more than anointing yourself as the chosen one to do it.

  5. hwatt - May 17, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    thanks for giving the contenders the message to ‘hack-a-lebron’ until bosh gets back, genius.

    • troy10 - May 17, 2012 at 1:21 PM

      um… not quite sure that “hack-a-Lebron” is the same is what the article is about. but.. OK…

      • hwatt - May 17, 2012 at 4:11 PM

        fine, “beextraphysicaljusttogethimtiredbutdontfoul-a-Lebron” if that helps.

      • troy10 - May 17, 2012 at 11:56 PM

        Do you have any idea at all what you’re talking about?? Just wondering.

  6. andrewproughcfe - May 17, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    Having a dominant big man is so important for a championship run, because the dominant big’s give you another line of defense and the ability to create some offense with post moves when jumpers and layups aren’t falling in. Guys like Duncan, Shaq, and Gasol are vital for a chance at a ring. The Heat don’t have that kind of big man, and without even Bosh, nearly every remaining team in the playoffs will have a big advantage over them: Pacers with Hibbert, Celtics with Garnett, 76ers with Hawes, Spurs with Duncan and Splitter, Thunder with Perkins, Lakers with Bynum and Gasol, etc…

  7. dexterismyhero - May 17, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    I didn’t think Florida taxed anyone?

  8. cantonbound13 - May 17, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Princess James

  9. gmsingh - May 17, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    Like him or hate him, LeBron is a workhorse so I think he’s entitled to say such things.

  10. tominma - May 17, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Poor King James!! The 6’8″ forward is so taxed by playing defense! Sorry guys, he should be in shape enough to do that. Of course I AM BIASED! I saw King James basically quit on the Cavs against the Celtics in the playoffs just before he left! A superstar never quits on his team! NEVER!

    • infectorman - May 17, 2012 at 6:09 PM

      A 1-2 trapped in a 3-4′s body?
      I thought he was 6’9″, no?

      If he would just take the ball, DEMAND the ball, when it counts most, CONSISTENTLY, and live with the consequences….win or lose….he would rank much higher in the annals of NBA players.
      As it is, it appears he only wants to be “another guy” when crunch time arrives.
      makes no sense, given the skill set…

  11. aaronoverrate - May 17, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    We are in the generation of whiners. Earn your MVP and learn to be a closer and a champion. So sick of this generation and the plethora of overpaid babies.

  12. killerron - May 17, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    I believed this was the year LeBron would win a title. Fewer games to wear down. Now Bosh is out for a couple quarters and he’s tired??? This guy never ceases to amaze me!

  13. morgan420 - May 17, 2012 at 11:09 PM

    I think he’s bluffing

  14. skids003 - May 18, 2012 at 10:38 AM

    Sounds like he’s out of shape?

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