Shootaround Report: Heat vs Pacers make final preparations for huge Game 7

Surya F.

Both teams hold an early shootaround as they get ready for the most important game of the season...

With huge television crews and AmericanAirlines Arena personnel setting up everywhere behind the scenes, both the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers were also inside preparing for Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Outside of the locker room where the wallpaper used in the hallway are oversized images of the biggest moments in the franchise's 25 years of existence, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra predictably stayed the course with his comments to the media. Regarding tonight's Game 7, he responded that "this is why the team was put together, (for) moments like this."

But this isn't the same team if Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh don't get it going as they are just as integral pieces to the puzzle as LeBron James is. To that regard, Spoelstra accepts some of the blame.

"It's certainly my responsibility to put them in places where they're comfortable and confident," he admitted.

But Bosh accepts much of the blame for his play this series on himself. After Spoelstra spoke with the media, Bosh stepped in and faced the firing squad. When asked a similar question about his struggles, Bosh didn't make excuses.

"It's really nothing that coaches can do to free me, it's just really myself. I've just got to go out there and play basketball," he said. "I don't have to go and invent anything or the coaches have to invent anything. We just have to do what we do better, and we're all going to do better, myself included."

Over on the main court, the Pacers wrapped up their shootaround in front of thousands of empty seats that will be filled several hours from now with the kind of energy that can only exist in a Game 7 scenario. Big man Roy Hibbert sat to the side as a few teammates like David West and even Danny Granger continued to lightly practice jump shots. Dealing with the fallout from his controversial comments after Game 6, Hibbert was finally asked a basketball question and gave his thoughts on why he's had so much success during this series against the player who has been commonly described as the Heat's most important player.

"Chris Bosh is an extremely talented player but I'm just trying to be as aggressive as I can," he said. "(I'm trying to) make as many shots as I can and put pressure on them for offensive rebounds and just try to leave my mark on the game somehow."

For his part, Bosh won't be changing his game tonight.

"I changed my game in games one through six and it hasn't worked. So I just need to do what I do and just let it all hang out."

As far as Pacers coach Frank Vogel is concerned, he'd rather not see LeBron going off tonight but is planning to stick to what has been working for his team. So would he be fine with having to dealing with LeBron in "Cleveland mode" and looking for his own shot rather than setting up his teammates?

"I don't think there's any LeBron James mode that we want him to be in other than on vacation or something," coach said with a smile on his face. "If he's here, he's going to be a major threat playing in whatever mode he's going to be in, he's going to be on attack mode. He's the best player in the world so you got to look out for him."

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