James says he plans on playing the remaining eight games as long as he stays healthy. After making that statement, he promptly "knocked on wood" at his locker with hopes of avoiding injury."I have no choice," James said. "I don't plan on sitting out any of these eight games unless something happens. I'm going to be in the lineup."
The Heat have a half-game lead on Indiana for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. They face one another April 11th in what could decide home court advantage between the two. Indiana has a relatively soft schedule coming up with Atlanta and Milwaukee around a game in Toronto.
So the Heat could use James to lock this thing up. Then again, worrying about such things has never been their M.O.. After all, they're unlikely to catch San Antonio so there's a good chance that if they get past the Pacers they'll still be on the road. They don't lack for confidence in taking a series without home court.
Meanwhile, James has had more minor injuries this year than normal. His troublesome elbow flared up, he's had significant problems with his back, and he broke his nose earlier this season. I wouldn't be surprised if despite what James says, he misses a few, especially if the Heat get some distance on Indiana for the top spot.
Meanwhile, Ray Allen was back with the team after missing nealy a week with both stomach and head viruses. Allen's probably going to be drained or a while, and Dwyane Wade will likely take some games off to rest up. This further complicates things with James. Not only is he playing through, but he's going to shoulder the load with Wade and Allen likely taking time off?
It's something to watch as we get closer to the playoffs.