May/09/11 11:16 PM Filed in: James Jones
MIAMI — Heat forward James Jones is one of the least physically imposing players on the team.
At 6-foot-8, 215 pounds, he's hardly Shaquille O'Neal. But when it comes getting aggressive, James has no problem.
He's been involved in a couple skirmishes in the postseason, refusing to shy from physical play.
"It's not that I'm being aggressive. I'm not stepping into guys' faces, and I'm not out here trying to muscle the game," Jones said. "Guys are stepping towards me, or at least I'm the guy that's out there trying to lay it out, stepping in front of them, making them uncomfortable. So it's just that I'm not going to back down."
Jones, mostly known for his 3-point shooting, nearly brawled with Philadelphia 76ers forward Thad Young in the first round. In Game 4, he got into a minor altercation with rookie Evan Turner before Young intervened. Both players were given technical fouls.
The second incident occurred in Game 1 against the Boston Celtics. Boston forward Paul Pierce took exception to being fouled hard by Jones. Pierce appeared to head-butt Jones after the play, drawing the first of two technicals in the game.
"I'm not being aggressive. I'm not a fighter. I'm not a brute," Jones said. "That's not me. But when it comes to competing I'm going to stand my ground. I might be small and frail, but that doesn't mean I won't stand up."
As to why he's attracted so much physical play, Jones said it's a matter of it being the postseason and the opposition going after the supposed weak link.
"It's nothing more," Jones said. "You just look out there on the court, you've got three of the best players in the league [LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh], and so they're going to go at what they feel is the lesser player, the rotation guys, the support guys, the backup guys. That's part of basketball. It's the chess match."
The feistiness is proof the Heat can play physical after earning a reputation of being a finesse team early in the season.
"We're aggressive, competitive players," Jones said. "Our demeanor and our motives aren't to go out there and batter and bruise people. But it's, 'We aren't going to be bruised.' We've taken our licks this year. We've had our growing pains, we've taken our lumps and I think it's made us better made us stronger and mentally."