LeBron had to use all five of his pitches against the Celtics' timely help defense. He worked some magic with Mike Bibby early, selectively abused Jeff Green off the bounce and drained a couple of spot-up J's on high pick-and-rolls for Dwyane Wade. Then he went into takeover mode. His putback slam (and-1) and jumper midway through the fourth put the game in the Heat's column.
Wade's euro-step in the second quarter rivaled anything you'll see from the Miami City Ballet across the street at the Arsht Center and the shot the Twitterverse went ga-ga over. The C's loaded up again against Wade, who had to work hard for his shots. He'll need to improve his shot selection in Boston, but he drew attention away from LeBron and deserves a mega-assist for that.
Each time you think Bosh is starting to assemble his offensive game, he bricks a midrange jumper or gets caught between defenders in the post -- although he became more aggressive after halftime. Fortunately for the Heat, he's moving well on defense, bothering the C's bigs on the block, pushing C's ball handlers uphill on high screens, recovering beautifully and crashing the boards.
Anthony recorded three blocks -- including his swat of a Jermaine O'Neal dunk attempt that brought the house down -- but his overall defensive game offers more than that. His capacity to guard perimeter players gives the Heat defensive flexibility on high pick-and-rolls. And his help D allows the Heat to trap ball handlers with the comfort of knowing "The Warden" is behind them.
The Celtics' kickouts and face-up jumpers from Kevin Garnett kept them competitive offensively. But their signature defense couldn't cover enough ground against a Heat offensive unit that buzzed around the court and challenged the Celtics' bigs to make tough choices on basket attacks. The Celtics can ill-afford to use Baby Davis in the post as a primary option and will have to develop more creative stuff against the Heat's swift defense.