The Miami Heat aren’t a team overstocked with size, though that’s usually not an issue when your small forward is the size of most NBA power forwards.
Of course, the Indiana Pacers aren’t a typical NBA team and well equipped with big bodies, it creates somewhat of a match-up problem for the Miami Heat who were forced to use LeBron James on David West defensively in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Finals battle.
James at times appeared to struggle in Miami’s loss, today suggesting that having to guard West was a challenge, hinting it wore him down.
“It’s a huge adjustment, starting the game off that way,” James said of defending West on one end and then running the Heat’s offense at the other. “I could do it in spots at times. It was definitely a challenge for me. And I don’t think, personally, I was in the right spots in the right times. It was just a couple of breakdowns on my part. Guarding a [power forward] is definitely a challenge for me for long periods of time. I’m used to switching off more and more.”
James’ struggles (if you want to call them that) with the defensive assignment has lead to speculation that Miami could start Udonis Haslem in Game 2 in effort to get a more traditional lineup on the floor.