“When I competed against the Miami Heat and either [Dwyane] Wade or [Chris] Bosh were out, (that meant) more touches for ‘Bron,” said Vogel. “That wasn’t necessarily a good thing for my Pacers teams. So it’s just gonna be more opportunity for ‘Bron and obviously, we need more guys to step up.”
While with Indiana, Vogel coached against James’ Heat in back-to-back Eastern Conference championship series in 2013 and ’14.
Both years, the Pacers looked greater than the sum of their parts, as they were competitive with the Heat despite being vastly inferior in talent.
James has a history of putting up huge scoring games in the playoffs when his team needs it most, even if his team is missing some members.
A prime example was the 2015 NBA Finals, when he averaged 35.8 points a game due to his Cleveland Cavaliers being without Kyrie Irving for most of the series.
The Lakers are hoping to win back-to-back NBA championships despite not being at full health, much as the Heat did in 2013 when Wade was dealing with a troublesome knee during the playoffs.