Getting on LeBron for his shot selection is a fruitless exercise when he drills everything he throws up from 25 feet. Should he be looking at the rim more? Probably. Should he be more active off the ball? You bet. Did it matter, even with Ron Artest nipping at him all day? Not a bit.
He missed a fast-break dunk in the first quarter, then changed his shoes. After that, Wade stepped into his role of crash-test dummy, with a few fadeaways sprinkled in for good measure. Wade's more-profound impact occurred on the defensive side of the ball, where he pecked at Kobe Bryant all afternoon.
Bosh not only drained shots, he was the smartest guy on the floor. When given space, Bosh faced up or attacked. When the Lakers sank low, he floated out to his favorite spot and set up shop. When the ball was loose, he crashed the glass with a fury. The only thing soft about Bosh on Saturday was his touch.
For as much star power as the Heat assembled last summer, it's increasingly clear that winning ugly might be their path of least resistance. With the exception of a few lapses along the baseline, the Heat turned in another nasty performance as they locked on the Lakers, length be damned.
There were Christmas jeers from the hometown crowd for the Lakers' lackluster performance. The Lakers were jittery and impatient on offense, missing a slew of close-range shots. And they were atrocious defensively, leaving huge swaths of the floor open for the Heat to exploit. An ugly effort from a grouchy team.