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Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Bosh: LeBron James won't forget challenge

By Jeff Caplan

DALLAS -- Jason Terry has struggled mightily against LeBron James' iron-curtain fourth-quarter defense, so Terry took the fight to James after Monday's practice with this challenge: "Let’s see if he can defend me like that for seven games.”

Not sure if riling up James is the prudent move, but that's never stopped Jet from voicing his inner thoughts. Plus, James is clearly too focused on putting a hammerlock on this series in tonight's Game 4 and probably didn't even see Terry's comment, right?

"We saw it, we watch SportsCenter," James said after the Heat's Tuesday morning shootaround. "Those guys have a right to say what they want to say."

According to Synergy Sports video tracking, in the fourth quarter, James has been Terry’s primary defender on seven plays, holding him to no points on 0-of-5 shooting. James also has been effective on others [Shawn MarionJason Kidd], allowing a total of five points on 10 plays.

Surely, a two-time MVP such as James doesn't use such comments to motivate him at such a crucial time?

"If he wants LeBron to turn it up, then that's great. I think that's great motivation for LeBron," Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh said. "Guys remember that when we're on the floor. LeBron's going to remember that late in the game when it's close. Terry's going to try to get going and he's going to guard him and we're going to see who comes out on top."

The move to use James on Terry in late-game situations and not Dirk Nowitzki, as was the popular notion prior to the series, has worked out well for Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. Terry is 0-of-7 in the fourth quarters of Games 1 and 3, both Mavs losses. Terry hit consecutive fourth-quarter buckets in Game 2 with Mario Chalmers on him and it sparked Dallas' 15-point comeback.

"You got to let sleeping dogs lie sometimes. But, maybe he's trying to get himself going and maybe that's what he looks for. You never know guys' motivation and their tactics and everything behind stuff. We know that Jason Terry is a great player and he's going to really try to impose his will tonight and we really have to be ready for that."

As for James wearing down if this series goes seven games as Terry suggests?

"LeBron is 26," Dwyane Wade said. "He’s not going to wear down and he’s going to look forward to the challenge."