When LeBron is knocking down shots consistently from the outside, it makes the Heat nearly unguardable. He started out in distribution mode, but then exacted damage playing off the ball, both spotting up and cutting from the wing. James also earned his share of style points in transition as the Heat got out and ran against a Memphis team that hangs around the offensive glass.
Wade propelled the Heat early by racking up five blocked shots in the first quarter. When he found open space as the recipient of swing passes, Wade looked to pull-up for jumpers short of the basket, and/or draw contact. Defensively, this game was tailor-made for Wade, who took advantage of the Grizzlies' poor outside shooters and caused major disruptions.
The Chris Bosh Revival Tour, as he worked as a true triple threat. He drained jumpers from his preferred spot at the left elbow, but also leveraged that shot to use his quickness off the dribble against slower defenders. The Grizzlies swarmed Bosh with double-teams, but he responded well, finding James or Wade in good spots, or kicking the rock out to the arc.
Memphis lives in the paint, and the Heat made that quality of life miserable. Miami swatted away 11 Grizzly shot attempts, its highest total for any game this season. In the first half, Wade stuffed the Grizzlies both inside and out, even denying 7-foot Marc Gasol in the lane. Joel Anthony was another big dog on the block, recording three blocks in 18 minutes.
The Grizzlies have exceeded expectations and have done wonders in upgrading the team's defense. Unfortunately for Memphis, with the exception of a short stint to start the second quarter, none of the improvement was on display. Memphis' frontcourt continues to work well together, but without a true perimeter threat, the Grizzlies are still having trouble spacing the floor.