This was a game begging for his dominance, but LeBron chose to lurk beneath the surface and serve primarily as a defensive specialist and distributor. James had exactly one basket in the paint over the first three quarters. Aside from a couple of kickouts to Mario Chalmers and a wraparound pass to Wade, James displayed zero creativity and rarely attacked the interior.
Had the Heat won this game or even put up a fight, we'd be talking about Wade's intuitive play in glowing terms. When Wade saw pressure from the Celtics, he found the open man on the weakside or along the perimeter. There were a few too many off-balanced shots from the left side of the floor, but Wade deserves credit on defense for his endless pursuit of Ray Allen.
The Heat don't have enough depth to absorb an ineffectual performance from Bosh. He couldn't create for himself in the post, couldn't buy space with his shot-fake and couldn't deny Kevin Garnett the ball where he likes it. The Heat built a 2-0 series lead in large part because Bosh made himself a factor. To win in Boston, they'll need that kind of energy again.
Einstein said that the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Erik Spoelstra might be hampered by limited options, but his decision to roll out his same starting lineup at the start of each half is a head-scratcher. The starting unit that includes Zydrunas Ilgauskas and Mike Bibby is now a minus-69 for the postseason.
Boston got an emotional lift from Rajon Rondo's return from a dislocated elbow in the second half, and received a tactical boost from Garnett's return from his lackluster outings in Miami. The Celtics fed Garnett with deep catches and found him working off screens for good looks. On the defensive end, the old bravado was back.