For the 26th time, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett will square off with LeBron James in a playoff game when the Brooklyn Nets open their second-round series against the Heat on Tuesday night. Pierce says it's only natural that there's some dislike between the two former Celtics and James. The Nets swingman, though, says it's not anything personal. "I think it is more of a basketball thing," Pierce said before the Nets' shootaround prior to Game 1, when asked if there is any dislike between him and James. "We are aiming for the same prize and only one of you can get it, you know?" "I mean, it's going to be a dislike there," Pierce continued. "That's nothing that has carried over off the court. I think everything -- the dislike for me, LeBron, or Miami or Cleveland -- it's all based on what we are both chasing, and that is about it." This is the fifth time Pierce and Garnett will face James in seven postseasons. James took a 13-12 edge in playoff games over Pierce and Garnett after the Heat beat the Celtics in seven games in the 2012 Eastern Conference finals. Heat star Dwyane Wade said he thought "we buried them" with that last postseason victory. Boston eventually went into a rebuilding phase, and Pierce and Garnett were acquired by Brooklyn last summer to provide the Nets with the experience and leadership necessary to win in the postseason. And here they are, facing the Heat again. "They don't ever go away," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said when asked about Wade's "buried" comment. "Seriously. Look up the storylines the last time we played the two guys when they were in the green in the playoffs. It was the same storylines. If anybody had forgotten, that series went seven."
Pierce: LeBron dislike not personal
ESPN | May 6