The Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers haven’t even started the Eastern Conference finals and they’re already in the middle of a beef.
Miami’s star LeBron James talked back to Pacers coach Frank Vogel comments to the Heat as “just the next team” standing between his team and a shot at an NBA title.
This will be the second straight postseason Miami and Indiana have been in a discussion before a game. Vogel was fined $15,000 last spring for saying the Heat were “the biggest flopping team in the NBA.”
The Pacers took a 2-1 series lead before Miami won the next three games while playing without injured center Chris Bosh.
According to James he was not amused when he heard Vogel’s postgame remarks Saturday night after the New York Knicks series.
Indiana won two of their three regular-season games versus Miami , with both of their victories by double figures coming in Indiana after dominating in the paint.
After losing in Indiana on Feb. 1, the Heat then went on the second-longest winning streak in league history with 27 consecutive wins, including a 105-91 victory versus the Pacers.
2012’s NBA playoff showdown has a lot oftaunting, flagrant fouls and extremely physical play.
James is looking to encounter much of the same intensity when the teams meet this time with a trip to the NBA Finals at stake. This is Miami’s third straight trip to the conference finals; the Pacers are there for the first time since 2004.