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LeBron “very frustrated” with Heat’s rebounding woes

Jan 9, 2013, 12:26 PM EDT

Miami Heat forward LeBron James rubs his jaw after being fouled during the second quarter of their NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis Reuters

Miami lost to the Pacers Tuesday night because of rebounding. Miami held Indiana to 36 percent shooting on the night but gave up 22 offensive rebounds — Indiana got a second chance on 43 percent of their missed shots.

That just a couple days after the Heat had team meeting to talk rebounding, those ended up being empty words. And it cost them a game.

LeBron James is frustrated, as reported by the Indy Star.

“It’s very frustrating, very frustrating,” the NBA’s reigning MVP said of the numbers glaring at him on the statistical sheet. “We want to defend and you know, we want to clean (the) glass, too, and we continue to get out-rebounded. It’s very frustrating.”

You know he means it when he puts three “very frustratings” into three sentences.

On the season Miami is a middle of the pack team on defensive rebounding but things have gone bad lately. In their last five games the Heat are grabbing the offensive rebound on just 18.6 percent of their missed shots, while allowing their opponents to grab the offensive rebound on 33 percent of their misses.

Miami Heat VP of all things basketball Pat Riley famously once motivated his Showtime Lakers by writing on the chalk board (that was back when chalk boards were state of the art) “rebounds = rings.”

LeBron gets it.

“That’s not going to win (a second consecutive championship),” James said.

Miami is not going to add size just to grab boards — they won an NBA title going small and can do it again. They can rebound well enough to win, but it takes a serious commitment, a team effort. Rebounding is as much about desire as size and the Heat haven’t shown it lately.

And that’s frustrating if you are LeBron.

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