May 22, 2013, 11:54 AM EDT
If you want to know what happens when you to right at Indiana’s Roy Hibbert at the rim, watch the video above or ask Carmelo Anthony — Hibbert sent him back dramatically in Game 6 last round. It changed the momentum of the game that eventually sent the Knicks fishing for the summer.
“Me?” James said incredulously. “Me?”
Reassured the question was about him, James dismissed the notion.
Of course he said that, what did you think LeBron was going to say?
But the reality is LeBron knows he can’t go right at Hibbert either — last year when the Heat played the Pacers in the playoffs Hibbert’s presence in the paint forced LeBron to go to a floater in the lane we had not seen before. And almost never since.
At least we hadn’t seen it until a Heat practice on Tuesday, reports Tom Haberstroh of ESPN’s Heat Index.
A day ahead of their Eastern Conference finals matchup against Roy Hibbert and the Indiana Pacers, James was at his normal basket at the Miami Heat’s practice court, but Allen was on another hoop, practicing his 3-point shot on his own. Instead of trading free throws with Allen, James was working with Heat assistant coach David Fizdale and point guard Chalmers on a different shot:
The running floater in the lane.
The challenge for the Pacers is keeping Hibbert in the lane — Miami has a healthy Chris Bosh this year and his midrange (and three point) shooting will force Hibbert out of his comfort zone.
But when he’s in there, Hibbert is a force. And even LeBron knows he needs to go to some floaters or end up looking like Anthony.
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