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LeBron, Wade unfazed by Heat’s latest loss to Pacers

Feb 2, 2013, 2:00 PM EDT

Miami's LeBron James complains to an official against the Pacers during an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis.

After the Heat lost to the Pacers in Indiana on Friday for the second time this season, there was no worry, panic, or even concern form Miami’s two biggest stars.

LeBron James didn’t seem all that interested in the fact that his team has struggled against the top teams in the East this season, and wasn’t down about the way the Pacers used a physical defense and a size advantage to pund the Heat into submission, while shooting a season-high 55.7 percent from the field in the process.

“We don’t put too much into losing a game or winning a game,” James said afterward. “We don’t need victories versus top-four teams to prove what we’re capable of doing. We don’t need ’em. We’d love to have ’em — but we don’t need ’em.”

Dwyane Wade was equally dismissive of the loss.

“I’m glad we could bring the best out of ’em,” Wade said with a chuckle, following a chippy contest where Chris Bosh, Shane Battier, Udonis Haslem, and Erik Spoelstra all picked up technical fouls at various points throughout, in a game that the Pacers led at one stage by as many as 19 points.

Miami has been challenged by teams like the Bulls, Knicks, and Pacers this season, who all have size and the ability to execute flawlessly at times offensively. The Heat continue to be outrebounded on a nightly basis, including by nine in this one, and remain just .500 away from home with a 12-12 road record to this point in the season.

It’s probably difficult for Spoelstra to instill any type of worry into his team before the All-Star break, considering the fact that despite the team’s flaws, which are real, the Heat are at the top of the Eastern Conference standings.

Miami is playing like a team that won the championship the season before; the Heat coast at times, and do just enough to win against the teams that aren’t in the league’s upper echelon. At some point the lack of defensive intensity will come back to haunt them, and the team will realize that flipping that switch, especially against opponents who have gained confidence through lopsided regular season wins, isn’t as easy as it seems.

That time isn’t now, however, as evidenced by the reactions of Wade and James after this one.

  1. dko83 - Feb 2, 2013 at 2:11 PM

    Heat make it so easy to root against them.

  2. tampajoey - Feb 2, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    The ego King would still be ringless if Derrick Rose wouldn’t have gotten hurt last year. Chicago is only 2 games back without Rose and now he’s on the verge of playing again. The Eastern Conference won’t be laying down for the Heat this season in the playoffs.

    • kinggw - Feb 2, 2013 at 3:01 PM

      The Eastern Conference didnt lie down for the Heat last season. And if memory serves correctly the Heat beat a fully healthy Rose and the Bulls in the ECF when the Bulls had the home court advantage. The Heat have improved since then, the Bulls have regressed. The only team that can stop the Heat in the East is the Heat.

  3. ksyeszir - Feb 2, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    If they keep thinking that they can just compete when they want to then they have zero chance of repeating this year.. They’re in for a surprise once the playoffs start n they can’t flip that switch

  4. davidly - Feb 2, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    Considering how they came back on the road in the playoffs last season, I don’t suppose players of their immense talent level have too much to be worried about.

    What’s troubling for me as a Pacers’ fan is that, while Indiana owns Miami in the regular season, a select cadre of players own the NBA, and West, George, Hill, Hibbert, and Stephenson–let alone Green, Hansbrough, Mahinmi, and Augustin–are not members of that select group.

    What bothers me as a hoops’ fan is that the reason that this is the case is because the vast majority of fans want it that way, ie. they prefer to see LeBron vs. Kobe or Durant. Nary a few would like to see the likes of San Antonio or Indiana in the finals.

    Thumbs up if you saw ‘Bron’s flop last night. Have any all-stars received flop warnings yet?

  5. kinggw - Feb 2, 2013 at 3:23 PM

    Why should they be worried? The Heat beat this same Pacer team in the playoffs with no Bosh and Wade playing on one good knee.The reality that Heat haters and bloggers alike need to come to is that these so called “statement” games mean much more to Heat opponents than they do to the Heat.

    People keep saying they cant continue to lose games like this because they just can’t turn on the switch when they get ready. Its the beginning of February, relax. I would understand the criticism if it was the end of March and they were getting blown out by 20 at home. Yes, they lost two games big to the Knicks. That was nearly two months ago and the Knicks have since regressed. The Pacers have won two home games against the Heat this year by 10 and 13 points respectively, you know what that means, nothing. Ask the Bulls, regular season success doesn’t translate to playoff victory.

    The Heat have been to two consecutive Finals facing much more adversity than what is currently transpiring. I think they’ve earned the benefit of the doubt.

    • ezzz2the - Feb 2, 2013 at 3:53 PM

      The Knicks have regressed to 1/2 game behind the Heat. Heat fans are laughable. Im sure everything will be fine for the Heat once the playoffs start and the refs blow the whistle just for looking at LeBron shoot.

  6. cantonbound13 - Feb 2, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    1 tainted title and they think they’re invincible. What a joke & classless organization!

  7. lyndseymarieee - Feb 2, 2013 at 5:25 PM

    The fact that they don’t care if they lose and that they don’t play with intensity every night says a lot about them. I realize that these games “don’t matter” but you’re an athlete and whether or not it matters in the grand scheme of things, it should matter to you. Aren’t athletes supposed to be competitive? I’d hate to be the fan of a team that didn’t go out and play their hardest each game.

  8. tmdill18 - Feb 2, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    I was at the Pacer game last night. Most of the Heat fans there probably couldn’t find Miami on the map. There is an element of these fair weather fans in every city. When Lebron goes to another city for his next contract, they will stuff his Heat jersey in the closet with his Cavs jersey.

  9. rando74 - Feb 2, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    I wouldn’t care either if I finally got my ring, 50 million dollars and a free out in 2014 to go back to Cleveland amd make up with city like nothing ever happened.

  10. nomorsacbball - Feb 2, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    funny. I don’t remember Jordan ever talking it easy in the regular season, or not caring about a loss to a playoff caliber team. It was his killer instinct that made him the greatest. He was NEVER ok with losing.Something LeBron doesn’t seem to have.

  11. mgscott - Feb 2, 2013 at 6:35 PM

    Um yeah, because they start playing when the playoffs start. Nobody cares about the regular season.

  12. southsidegroovin281 - Feb 2, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    All the ppl disagreeing and “thumbs downing” are the delusional Lebron fans and “heat fan”. They’re just as confused as Lebron whether to keep or get rid of his receding hairline.

    • davidly - Feb 3, 2013 at 5:35 AM

      I call it thumbs downsesings –not least of which because of one guy clearing his cookies, hitting “refresh” and “voting” again (though, one can’t discount a partial confirmation of what I indicated above: Most fans prefer hero-ball to team play).

  13. Jeff - Feb 2, 2013 at 10:54 PM

    They should be fazed.

  14. dko83 - Feb 3, 2013 at 4:33 AM

    I get that the Heat can turn it on come playoff time Boston style but at least pretend to give a crap about the regular season. People that should be more bothered by this than me: the Pacers.

  15. kswissibe - Feb 3, 2013 at 5:46 AM

    It amazes me how concered fans of other teams are about the Heat. Lebron nor Wade ever said that they did not care about losing games, I believe they said that they “were not worried”. They trust that they will be ready when the time is right. So sick of the over-hyped killer instict comment also if you put the best team on the floor and the ball goes in the hoop guess what? Right, you win. During the 80’s it was the Lakers, during the 90’s the Bulls and now it’s the Heat. Just enjoy the artistry of basketball and nix the comparisons, right now small ball is in so embrace the evolution of basketball which at its best is still just a simple GAME.

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