For the first time in a while, James served as the guy with the marquee defensive assignment -- and he thoroughly frustrated Kevin Durant. Physicality has always been one of James' less-heralded attributes, and LeBron was an absolute brute on both ends. When he wasn't throwing his body around, he was distributing the ball as the Heat's point forward.
Much as on Thursday night in New York, Wade was both explosive and selective, attacking the rim like he was shot out of a cannon but rarely taking a bad shot. Though he racked up a slew of ugly turnovers, he was a key ingredient in the Heat's dramatic defensive turnaround.
It was an extremely encouraging return for Bosh, who played his first game since Jan. 15. The Heat's offense looked like itself again, feeding Bosh early and often, even against Thunder double-teams. Early on, Bosh looked a little slow defensively on the gimpy ankle, but he also notched a huge putback tip inside of three minutes.
We've waited to see if Spo would bypass his point guard rotation and go to a multi-wing attack. That's exactly what he did in the first, igniting a run and, at the close, getting a decisive 3-pointer from Eddie House. As long as Wade and James are willing to defend the ball, this tactic will work -- even if it costs them a couple of turnovers.
Speed in transition, high screens, curls and a hearty Westbrook-Durant two-man game pace the Thunder, but they're capable of more creativity than they showed in the half court. And what's happened on the other side of the floor? When assistant Ron Adams returned to Chicago, did he take the OKC defense with him?