LeBron James responds to Mavs comments

June, 9, 2011
6/09/11
12:12
PM CT

DeShawn Stevenson and LeBron James have attacked each other verbally for years.

It's moved to an NBA Finals level now, with Stevenson saying James "checked out" of the fourth quarter of Game 4.

At Thursday's shootaround, James was asked about Stevenson's comments.

"He has the right to say what he wants to say," James said. "Just know I'll be there for 45 minutes on the court tonight. We'll see what happens."

Shawn Marion, Jason Kidd and Stevenson have been the main defenders guarding James in this series. The Mavericks have done a good job of swarming toward him when he gets the ball, preventing him from getting lanes to the basket. Somehow, Dwyane Wade has found these lanes and has gotten to the basket.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said his players have to attack the basket more to put pressure on the Mavericks' defense, especially the front court, which is thin with the uncertanity of injured center Brendan Haywood.

"It translates to all of us, especially me," James said. "We're always at our best when we're in an attack mode and it starts with me and it starts with D-Wade and trickles down to everybody else."

If the Heat start attacking the basket more, it probably doesn't bother the Mavericks, who have played with confidence. Their boasts don't seem to bother coach Rick Carlisle, who is normally tight-lipped when it comes to the business of his team.

"Look, I’ve got some crazy guys and I love 'em," Carlisle said Thursday morning. "You want to have that kind of crazy guys on your team at this time of year."
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Dirk Nowitzki
PTS AST STL MIN
21.7 2.7 0.9 32.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsD. Nowitzki 6.2
AssistsM. Ellis 5.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksB. Wright 0.9