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LeBron says he isn’t afraid to challenge Hibbert at the rim. But watch for floaters anyway.

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.

So, LeBron James, is that kind of block going to make you think twice about driving the lane (response via the New York Daily News)?

“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.

  1. money2long - May 22, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    he’s lebron. should he be afraid of anything ?
    skip bayless : crunch time.

    • fanofevilempire - May 22, 2013 at 3:01 PM

      LeBron will get the call the Knicks didn’t, I don’t see the Pacers going to the
      stripe 46 times.
      I will be surprised if this is not a sweep.
      The Pacers will be like practice for the finals.

    • badintent - May 23, 2013 at 2:17 AM

      no Hibbert,no problem… see game winning game shot by LBJ. vogel had major brain freeze.

  2. lbroberts123 - May 22, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    Lebron is a stronger dunker than Melo, so he could probably get at least one dunk in on Hibbert.

  3. mannyfresh209 - May 22, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    If LeBron had a wide open dunk like Melo…better believe he’d be dunking the ball, along with Hibbert’s hand, through the hoop.

    • odbj - May 22, 2013 at 1:21 PM

      *along with Hibbert’s soul

      • mannyfresh209 - May 22, 2013 at 4:42 PM

        Lol I forgot to add that in! Thank you

  4. zerole00 - May 22, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    If all else fails just lower your shoulder and charge. What else is new?

  5. coryfor3 - May 22, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    We’re talking about guys being afraid of Roy Hibbert? Really? Ok- he can change some shots and block some but seriously.

    • stlouis1baseball - May 22, 2013 at 12:44 PM

      So you didn’t watch the Pacers/Heat series huh Cory?

    • asimonetti88 - May 22, 2013 at 12:50 PM

      Hibbert is a very good defensive player. LeBron is an authoritative dunker but it would not be surprising to see him lay some floaters in the lane against Indiana. Gotta respect the big man.

  6. rodge1 - May 22, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    This series is going to be fun… Go Heat

  7. stlouis1baseball - May 22, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    Lebron running his trap? Noooo. Dude never “says” anything.
    Yes…this series is going to be fun. The difference is…the Pacers are going to bring “substance” as opposed to running their mouths. Go Pacers!

  8. all4patriots - May 22, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    Lebron will flop to try to draw fouls.

    • mannyfresh209 - May 22, 2013 at 12:50 PM

      with you being a patriots fan, i assume you’re a celtics as well. paul pierce. nuff said.

    • andrewproughcfe - May 22, 2013 at 1:31 PM

      “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 FLOPPER in the lane.

    • turnmymicup - May 22, 2013 at 3:57 PM

      Patriots fan complaining about someone cheating. Priceless.

  9. fanofthegame79 - May 22, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    Heat in 6.

  10. supremekingz - May 22, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    I know it sounds crazy, but I remember last year’s game and Bosh was balling out on Hibbert. He started the game with some great plays, and he even drove on Hibbert when he checked Bosh at the top of the key (same play he got hurt on).

    My point it, Bosh will show how valuable he is in this series and I really expect him to bring it to Hibbert because Bosh’s offensive skills perfectly take away Hibbert’s best defensive qualities. Also, the HEAT really struggled against Indiana without Bosh last year. They were actually down 2-1.

    My prediction is that the Heat will win the series, but more importantly that Bosh could lead all scorers in a few games if he’s not in foul trouble.

    Heat in 5

  11. nobandwagonridersallowed - May 22, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    Understand this; given the same scenario Carmelo got blocked on, had that been LeBron, Mr. 7 footer would’ve pulled back a nub. If you look at that play again, Hibbert was shaking his hand right after because the force of Carmelo actually pushed him back enough to hit his wrist on the rim. With the ferocity LeBron comes with, Hibbert would’ve been doing more than shaking the discomfort off.

    Do I believe that, Hibbert can block LeBrons’ shots, absolutely I do. However, I believe LeBron will get the better of him more times then not… Damn, I look forward to that encounter on a dunk! It’s going to be a poster either way it goes!

    • andrewproughcfe - May 22, 2013 at 2:08 PM

      Yeah, right. Do you happen to know when the last amputation at the rim happened in a basketball game?

      That would be never. And it never will happen – the physics of the situation does not allow for nearly enough downward force from the shooter to cause the arm to be sliced through. I’ll wager that we’ve never even seen a strained wrist ligament from a block like that – not in the history of basketball. Just not nearly enough downward force from any shooter.

      • nobandwagonridersallowed - May 22, 2013 at 4:40 PM

        Dude, you didn’t have to go all “Bill Nie, The Science Guy”… Lol. It was an obvious exaggeration, but this isn’t… Heat in 5! The beast have been awakened

  12. pistolpete0903 - May 22, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    Why is it a given that Hibbert plays on Bosh?
    If I were Indiana, I would put West on Bosh as primary defender.
    Miami’s strength has been LBJ or Wade driving to the rim and Hibbert should play center anchor (a la Dwight Howard). I would leave the other Miami big open (Haslem/Birdman) and live with the chances that once of them could beat Indy.
    The key on the offense has to be Hibbert getting the ball inside quickly. West is a crafty player and could get Bosh in trouble. The problem with Indy is with Granger out, they don’t have a perimeter player who can create his OWN shot. Miami will exploit that.
    Miami wins in a hard fought 6.

    • heat256 - May 22, 2013 at 2:54 PM

      But Hibbert can’t just camp in the post if there isn’t a post player there. It’s a violation. Even if Hibbert opens on Haslem, it means Hibbert has to come out and guard him as Haslem can hit the J – not at a high clip, mind you, but he has to be given the respect. I think post play will be important to the Pacers but they turn the ball over too much, don’t have really reliable scorers, and are not a great road team is why I have the Heat in 5, maybe 6. The CHI-MIA series shown that while dogged defense keeps you in games, if you can’t hit shots when it’s tight, you’ll still lose.

      • turnmymicup - May 22, 2013 at 4:49 PM

        @ Heat 256 agreed exactly what I was thinking. @PistolPete if you put West on Bosh at the 5 and have Hibbert play the 4 IND still has problems. Haslem, Birdman, Battier, and LeBron all play the 4. You can use that with Birdman on the floor but I wouldnt give those other 3 wide open jumpshots.

      • pistolpete0903 - May 22, 2013 at 11:42 PM

        Lol…I didn’t think about that!!! (sarcasm)
        In my post, I did say that Haslem can beat you (and he has a decent jumper). If Miami wins with Haslem hitting J’s, I can live with that.

    • supremekingz - May 22, 2013 at 4:00 PM

      Great point. Could we see extended minutes with Bosh and Rashard Lewis on the floor at the same time?

      • heat256 - May 22, 2013 at 4:45 PM

        I’d say it’s possible. Lewis offers height and 3 pt shooting ability. Don’t know if that really translates into much, but for 10-15 minutes he could help out the team.

  13. pacersfan1 - May 22, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    All of you front running heat fans make me laugh. LeBron will drive to the basket and flop like a fish then look to the refs to bail him out. Thats what he does best. GO! PACERS!

    • heat256 - May 22, 2013 at 2:55 PM

      Maybe Stephenson can make a choke sign to his own bench when they lose the series.

  14. davidly - May 22, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    Pacers in 3.

  15. all4patriots - May 22, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    Somebody where I work left a big floater.

    It DID kind of look like Lebron.

    • fanofevilempire - May 22, 2013 at 3:03 PM

      your company pays you to look at other people floaters, good company.

  16. jbeagles23 - May 22, 2013 at 3:10 PM

    It makes sense to put Hibbert on haslem. However if Ind does that the heat will counter with battier who stretches the floor more than bosh. The lineup with battier is what will completely tear up the pacers

  17. mrbiz8505 - May 22, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    That’s LeBrons response anytime he gets called for a charge….. ME!?….ME??!!

  18. tmdill18 - May 22, 2013 at 5:30 PM

    Pacers won the season series 2 to 1. Bosh played. George matched up very well with Lebron. That said. Lebron will still get his. But the Pacers have a puncher’s chance.

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