The play made Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade think back a few years.

When LeBron James was on the receiving end of a hard foul Wednesday, Wade had memories of another teammate who often took a pounding on the basketball court.

"I played with another guy that handled it very well," Wade said. "Shaq, he handled it well. He was just a guy that just got beat down."

Wade, of course, was referring to former Heat center Shaquille O'Neal. Like O'Neal, James is rarely credited for taking punishment during games because of his size. Their builds make it almost impossible for anyone to have sympathy, let alone notice.

"The tough part about LeBron is, a gift for him is he's 6-8, 260 and a curse that he's 6-8, 260," Wade said. "He won't get the certain looks when it comes to hard fouls but other people will. It's unfortunate. Hopefully, nothing ever happens where he gets hurt but he can take it."

Smaller players such as Allen Iverson, Isaiah Thomas and even Wade were admired because of their ability to deal with hard fouls. It was as if they were standing up to bullies in the NBA's land of giants. For James, the effect is the opposite.

He is expected to handle the physicality with ease.

"He's a big, physical specimen," Heat center Chris Bosh said. "We all know that but that doesn't change much. He still fights through a lot. You don't know until you see it night in and night out with this team really the pounding that he takes."

The latest incident occurred against the Charlotte Bobcats in Game 2 of their first-round series in the Eastern Conference playoffs. While driving to the basket, James was fouled hard by Bobcats forward Josh McRoberts. James was hit in the throat by a forearm, falling to the floor and needing a few minutes before heading to the free throw line.