The Pacers' Danny Granger has gotten a technical foul in the last 3 games for getting in both LeBron James' and Dwyane Wade's faces, ESPN reports. James said Tuesday that Granger's tactics were "stupid."
"Whatever he's trying, it's not working," James said Tuesday according to USA Today. The Heat will host the Pacers Tuesday night for Game 5.
James went onto say that Granger has boasted "I'm not afraid of LeBron." "I guess he's doing it for his own psyche," James said. "It's stupid."
According to ESPN, Granger said his tactics are part of the "chip on the shoulder" mentality the Pacers have adopted. His philosophy is that since the Heat were the favorite to win, the Pacers had to get creative and get under their skin. Granger has been vocally frustrated that the Pacers haven't been taken seriously.
"I think there is a line and I'm tip-toeing it," Granger said. That's a product of the chip that I think I have on my shoulder, that we have on our shoulder as a team for not being respected, not just in this series, but all year."
"We had the 5th best record in the NBA and we had maybe one nationally televised game," he said, according to USA Today. "Three or four teams didn't even make the playoffs and had more televised games than us."
Dwyane Wade said he understands that Granger wants to stand up for his team, but that he needs to cool it. "We're not fighting on this basketball court, so lets not act like we're going to fight," Wade said.
Granger has admitted that he did overreact over a Wade/Hibbert foul altercation in Game 4, USA Today reports. He got a little too passionate, and received a technical for getting in Wade's face.
According to Complex, LeBron said he wasn't going to fight Granger or anyone else because he "means too much" to his team to get suspended or thrown out of a playoff game.
"It's not personal for us," Heat forward Shane Battier said, according to the Sun-Sentinel. "It's all business. We don't care what anyone thinks about us. We want to win basketball games, and that's why we're here. All the extraneous noises is for the other teams, not us."
USA Today reports that while Pacers coach Frank Vogel is understandably backing Granger, he's also not thrilled about getting "unnecessary technicals."
"We're going to stand up for ourselves. We're not backing down. It's part of our team for this series," Vogel said. "I don't want any technicals, to be honest," he added. "They happen."