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So in these playoffs, instead of trying to defeat the scrutiny, James is trying to ignore as much of it as he can.

He hasn’t been taking phone calls or tweeting. He’s not watching much television. Instead of reading articles about him or the playoffs, he’s been reading books, something that now seems to be part of his pregame ritual. (“It slows my mind down,” James said.)

“He’s just focused, you know, just like the rest of this team,” Wade said. “He has a goal, and he wants to reach that goal, and he doesn’t want nothing to stand in his way, and he doesn’t want himself to stand in his way. He wants to make sure once you leave the game or you leave the series, you can say, I gave it my all. I don’t know if we all could have said that last season.”