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LeBron is even more confident now, and that could mean serious trouble for the Spurs

Jun 15, 2013, 9:33 PM EDT

BASKET-NBA-FINALS-PRACTICE-HEAT Getty Images

SAN ANTONIO — Before LeBron James went out and put together a high-scoring, aggressive performance that helped his team to a Game 4 win over the Spurs, he guaranteed he’d play better than he did the previous game, and did so in a way that made it sound like his bounce-back effort was a foregone conclusion.

After scoring 33 points and hauling in 11 rebounds in the game that tied the series at two apiece, and after controlling the tempo and attacking inside on seemingly every offensive possession, James was even more confident than before in delivering his answers to reporters before the Heat practiced at the AT&T Center on Saturday.

Every relevant question was met with forceful assertion from James, and his self-assuredness was at the highest level possible without ever crossing over into the realm of being smug or cocky with his statements.

It began when LeBron was asked about the Heat’s recent inability to win consecutive games in the postseason. In all seven games against Indiana right on through the first four games of the Finals, Miami has won (and then lost) in every other outing. James said, very confidently and very seriously, that it was time for that little trend stop.

“I think it’s time,” James said. “I think we’re well overdue where it’s time for us to win consecutive games. I think we’re at 11 or 12 straight consecutive win‑loss, win‑loss, win‑loss. I think it’s time. Enough is enough for our team. I’m not saying it’s going to result in us having a win, but we need to play with the same sense of urgency as if we were down 2‑1 or whatever the case may be tomorrow night. And we can’t wait around.”

Confident, but not cocky.

Next, LeBron was asked a slightly convoluted question that had to do with his style of play during his team’s three straight years in the Finals, and whether he needed to be more of a scorer or a facilitator moving forward. He had to ask for clarification on what was being asked, but then delivered his answer before waiting for the response.

“Let me put it this way,” James said sternly. “We don’t make it to Dallas, we don’t make it to OKC and we don’t make it here if I don’t play the way I play. It’s that simple. My game doesn’t change no matter who I’m playing. I know I’m an attack player. I also do multiple things — I get my teammates involved, I rebound, I defend. I don’t have three straight trips to the Finals if I don’t do what I do. It is what it is.”

Self-assured, but not smug.

Finally, LeBron was asked if he was surprised by the large margins of victory that we’ve seen in each of the last three games of the series. He was not — especially in those that were won by his team.

“We’re not surprised to get a win, [or] surprised to win by double digits,” James said. “If we play our game, if we force turnovers, we rebound, execute offensively and don’t turn the ball over, we can win against anybody. We’re a confident bunch.”

The Heat are led by the most confident one of them all, and LeBron was radiating this quality in every word he uttered, and in the strong, sincere, and steady tone with which those words were spoken.

LeBron was confident that he’d bounce back before Game 4, and we saw what he was able to do under the circumstances. But now, with a heightened level of cool assuredness on display, the Spurs must prepare for an even more devastating performance from James.

Whether or not they are able to withstand it will determine their fate in Game 5, and might ultimately end up being the key factor in determining how the championship is decided.

  1. kb2408 - Jun 15, 2013 at 10:27 PM

    Before game 1 he said he was 50% better than he was in 07. However, for the majority of this series he looked pretty much like the 07 version of LeBron. Even in game 4 he scored 9 of his points after the game was already decided. Let’s see which LeBron shows up for game 5.

    • cwilson6843 - Jun 16, 2013 at 1:10 AM

      So therefore he had 24 points before the game was decided….. STOP HATIN you’re embarrassing yourself. Just like when the spurs blew out the heat in game 3 but all the spurs starters were still in the game padding up their stats. But you have nothing to say about that. HATER

  2. nycalldayz - Jun 15, 2013 at 10:52 PM

    I’m confident I can steal Beyonce from Jay-Z and that could mean trouble for him. Oh please! Talk is cheap especially in sports. How about we wait and see if Lebron’s talk is real and not have media do predictions.

  3. secretomen00 - Jun 15, 2013 at 11:03 PM

    wow. does the author of this article work for the heat’s public relations staff? if not, then he should submit a job application.

  4. anhdazman - Jun 15, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    It’s not LeBron, it’s a question of Wade and Bosh showing up for game 5. They’re the two players who have been wildly inconsistent.

  5. cwilson6843 - Jun 16, 2013 at 1:00 AM

    First of all kb2408 in the 07 finals LeBron averaged 30+ points a game so therefore your statement is incorrect. Secondly why do all of you get your panties in a bunch when an Nba player is simply answering a question asked of him and it’s mandatory the players take part of the media sessions. All of you are ignorant to everything you talk about. And nycalldays what are you even talkin about? You don’t even have a shot with a 500lb woman with low self-esteem. What player shouldn’t have confidence? The heat and the spurs are in the finals because of their confidence, heart, and desire to win. Yall know nothing about sports and probably play way too much video games. Please don’t comment unless you have an intelligent statement with facts to back up your non sense bandwagon heat hating comments!

    • kb2408 - Jun 16, 2013 at 2:35 AM

      Cwilson, maybe before you call yourself putting me in check you should use Google. If you had, you would’ve found that he averaged 22 points on 35% shooting, which means you are exactly what you called us, a bandwagon “fan” who doesn’t have a clue of what you’re talking about. 30 is not close to 22. Before gm 4 he was averaging less than 20 points. So, as you can now see, I was correct.

      • cwilson6843 - Jun 16, 2013 at 3:03 AM

        Good job buddy you got me. I mixed it up with when the cavs were put out by Celtics in 09-10 season. But I’m no bandwagon fan because I don’t have a team. I’m simply just a LeBron fan. Really not even too big on basketball I’m all about football. But I’ve been a LeBron fan since 03. But what are you? Kobe or Lakers fan cuz most of yall are bandwagon too

      • cwilson6843 - Jun 16, 2013 at 3:11 AM

        But get one thing straight. This series even when LeBron scored less than 20 he made up for in assists rebounds and defense

  6. elcapitanfiscal - Jun 16, 2013 at 1:38 AM

    Lebron is finally getting hot..

    His shot had been way off but if he gets it going from outside it’s over..

    He will still give you 10 plus boards a game and around 7 assists a game

    My prediction is Lebron will go off on them these next 2 games, and the heat will blow then out game 6 to win the title

  7. thekingdave - Jun 16, 2013 at 4:29 AM

    You both sound retarded

    • kb2408 - Jun 16, 2013 at 6:05 AM

      I’m a LAKERS fan and have been for over thirty years.
      @tkd, grow up. You do know that word is very derogatory, correct? Maybe you just don’t care. Anyway, we were having a “mature” debate…which is obviously something you’re incapable of..

      • cwilson6843 - Jun 16, 2013 at 7:35 PM

        Yea why would you call someone retarded? Don’t you know a lot of people take serious offense to a statement like that? Plz lets keep it clean, grown, and intelligent. Its only basketball now

  8. jbeagles23 - Jun 16, 2013 at 7:48 AM

    I guarantee you haven’t been a lakers Fan for 30 years.

  9. soopreme - Jun 16, 2013 at 8:04 AM

    I think Lebron is due for a big game primarily because of what DWade did last game.
    The Spurs are gonna have to pay attention to Wade now and they won’t be so quick to load the paint and run that box on Lebron like they did last game.
    Lebron should get better looks this game.

  10. daubs17 - Jun 16, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    wow lebron made it through a press conference without referring to himself in the third person. shocking

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