SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Predictably, the first question LeBron James got after walking into the San Antonio Spurs’ practice facility on Saturday was about the state of his health.
“Feeling really good,” James said.
The Miami Heat surely liked that answer.
James returned to the practice floor with the Heat on Saturday, two days after he was forced to leave Game 1 of the NBA Finals because of cramps. He will be in the lineup for Game 2 against the Spurs on Sunday night, when sports’ safest bet will be that the temperature inside San Antonio’s AT&T Center will be several degrees lower than it was for the series opener.
“I’m doing well, doing a lot better,” James said before Saturday’s workout. “The soreness is starting to get out. I’m feeling better than I did yesterday and with another day, I should feel much better tomorrow.”
James wasn’t going to go crazy on the conditioning front Saturday. The Heat were planning a glorified walkthrough for their practice, and the four-time NBA MVP expected to get some cardio work done by biking and running. He’ll also continue getting treatment as part of a recovery regimen that will stretch into Sunday — plus, as one would expect, as many fluids into his system as he can handle.
“He’s feeling better, moving around,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Yesterday was all about rest and hydration and building his body back up. Thankfully we had that extra day.”
James left with 3:59 remaining in Game 1 after his body shut down because of the cramps. The Heat trailed by two at that point and wound up losing by 15.
James told teammates before Game 1 that they needed to have a Game 7 approach — and with the Heat down 1-0 in the series, he’ll underscore that point again Sunday.
“I want to be able to finish the game but you have to have that mindset, there is no tomorrow,” James said. “It’s challenging, but for a championship you don’t want it easy.”