LeBron not surprised by physical games

Updated: April 21, 2010, 1:50 AM ET
By Nick Friedell | ESPNChicago.com

CLEVELAND -- Cavaliers star LeBron James isn't surprised that things became physical rather quickly during the first half of Game 1 between the Bulls and Cavs on Saturday afternoon, or later that night during Game 1 of the Heat-Celtics series.

The Celtics' Kevin Garnett was suspended one game for throwing an elbow at Miami's Quentin Richardson.

"You hope the league would be a little lenient knowing it's the playoffs and knowing how physical the game becomes," James said after Sunday's practice. "But it's going to be testy.

"You see these guys a lot and you get tired of seeing them a lot. It's going to be testy at times, but you got to try and control your emotions as much as possible. It's hard in the postseason."

James, who led the Cavs to victory in Game 1, says it's especially difficult for him considering that he usually plays with a lot of energy.

"I'm definitely emotional," he said. "I love the postseason. I know what it takes to win postseason games. I've been in a lot of postseason games, so I know what it takes to win, and I'm very in tune to what's going on.

"Being out on the court, I definitely try to do what's possible to win."

Speaking of playoff experience, the reigning NBA MVP praised new teammate Shaquille O'Neal for his play during Game 1.

"He's more intense in the postseason," James said. "You could see it on his face. More intense, more in tune to what's going on in the game. And that's good to have. He has a lot of playoff experience, so he knows how to turn it on."

Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPNChicago.com.

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

MORE NBA HEADLINES