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Basketball / Sports

Pacers signing Andrew Bynum could affect Heat

NEW YORK -- With their biggest competitor in the Eastern Conference improving depth, the Miami Heat's reaction was as expected.

They had none.

The Heat seemed unconcerned with the Indiana Pacers signing free agent center Andrew Bynum Saturday.

"I really don't have a thought on it yet," Heat guard Dwyane Wade said. "We'll have to see how he fits. When we played him, he was still getting in shape after not playing a full season. He had some pretty good games. Obviously they felt that he could come in and help them or I'm sure they wouldn't have brought him in."

Bynum bolsters an already impressive frontcourt that features Roy Hibbert, Luis Scola and David West. The Pacers used their size last year to push the Heat to seven games in the conference finals. The teams have met twice this season, with each winning at home.

"I didn't have much of a reaction at all," forward LeBron James said. "We talked about it this morning ... and that was it. I don't have too much of a comment."

At 35-10 heading into Saturday's games, the Pacers have the best record in the East. Adding Bynum, who was an All-Star starter in 2012, gives Indiana yet another inside presence. He was averaging 8.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks before being traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Chicago Bulls. A day later, the Bulls waived Bynum.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said they would rather focus on themselves than other teams.

"I don't know what their perspective is," Spoelstra said. "We're just focused on us right now. I'm sure, out there, it makes for compelling storylines. He fits their style in terms of being big and physical in the paint, but from our standpoint that doesn't affect us."

Relaxing All-Star weekend for Wade

Wade confirmed he will participate in the NBA All-Star Game but said he will only play limited minutes.

With younger players like DeMar DeRozan and Kyrie Irving making their debuts, Wade expects to spend most of the game on the sideline. He has appeared in the game 10 times, earning a starting spot the last nine seasons.

"Whenever you got some first-timers on the All-Star team, you can always be like, 'Go ahead young fella, go out there and do your job, go out there and play.' ... This is my 10th year so you want the other guys to come in and really enjoy it."

Wade could have used the weekend to rest his troublesome knees, but said he felt obligated to the fans who voted for him to play.

LeBron explains tweet

The Oklahoma City loss and being outplayed by Kevin Durant may have lit a fire in James. He caused a stir on Twitter Friday when he wrote, "Headed to train off sight then practice to get better. I have to improve! I have no other choice. I won't settle."

James said the message had something to do with his play against the Thunder

"I was just trying to get some extra work in," James said. "I'm just trying to stay above the curve. It's been a lot of basketball and we've still got a lot more to play. I'm just trying to get in as much work as possible."

(c)2014 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

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