There's a strong stubborn streak to James' shot selection this season, a trend that continued on Wednesday. He settled for too many early-clock long twos, wasn't as generous sharing the ball and played too far away from the rim. The Heat needed an elevated level of heroism from James, but he couldn't deliver.
The last week has been a nightmare for Wade. Nursing a sprained wrist, he entered the game one for his last 22 from the field and the drought continued. Wade's offensive night was an exercise in consistency. He was ineffective as a midrange jump shooter, ineffective as a finisher and ineffective drawing contact.
Bosh spent a good part of the first half in the locker room suffering from back spasms. When he was on the court, Bosh put together one of his more assertive performances of the season, attacking Rashard Lewis repeatedly off the dribble and fighting for deep position in the post. Bosh still needs to do better work cleaning the glass and making rotations.
The offense still stagnates at time and the Heat were often caught flat-footed when Orlando spread the floor in the half court, but this was a far cry from the Indy debacle. The Heat battled on the offensive glass, and re-established their defensive intensity when the game was in the balance.
The Magic delivered their prototypical B.V. (Before Vince) game. Jameer Nelson ignited the offense with dribble penetration and pick-and-rolls with his big men, while the Magic's gunslingers fanned out along the perimeter poised for kick-outs. Orlando didn't have their best shooting night of the season, but their faithful discipline to their system carried them.