James to guard Garnett at times in Game 4

James to guard Garnett at times in Game 4
June 3, 2012, 11:27 pm
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BOSTON There will be no need to adjust your television set or find yourself pleasantly surprised by your XBox or some other gaming system of choice looking more life-like than you remember.

LeBron James will be guarding Kevin Garnett at some point in tonight's pivotal Game 4 matchup. between Boston and Miami.

For those who didn't stick around for the end of Boston's 101-91 Game 3 win over Miami, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra went with an all-perimeter unit after his club fell behind big in the second half.

That group included James at center, defending Garnett.

Spoelstra was non-committal on whether the Heat would in fact go with a lineup that had James at center.

"We were playing out of desperation," Spoelstra said. "We'll just have to wait and see."

But James made it clear that he anticipated having to defend Garnett - who is at least three inches taller than him - at some point tonight.

"Well, we're going to have to go to it," James said of the small lineup. "It's just how our lineup is being played right now, especially with CB (Chris Bosh) being out. I'm going to be guarding him (Garnett) either in the case of lining up against him to start the possession or a switch."

And when that happens, it becomes one of the few times James and the word "mismatch" become a description of what an opponent has over him, and not vice versa.

James and the Heat have seen their share of big men throughout their playoff run.

But Garnett is a completely different - and in many ways more daunting - challenge than the others.

"KG is a difficult cover," James said. "First of all, he's a more prolific scorer than (New York Knicks center Tyson) Chandler and (Indiana's Roy) Hibbert. And when he gets to shoot, his wing span is he shoots higher than anybody we have in this league. So we have to do a better job of trying to help each the out and not expose ourselves as much with our coverages."

Added Dwyane Wade: "He's Kevin Garnett, one of the best players that's played this game for many, many years. So he puts a lot of pressure on you obviously offensively with his ability to be able to shoot from the outside just as good as any other big in the game."

And the challenge of limiting him will indeed be spread throughout the Heat roster, James included.