LeBron's first four baskets were either dunks or layups, but all his momentum came to a complete stop once the Hawks pulled out the zone defense. His journey to the rim became a lot tougher after that. LeBron wasn't as active defensively in this one and tended to fall back into midrange mode all too often on the other end. Most players would kill for this stat line but we expect more from LeBron.
Wade stepped into a time machine and went back to his point guard days. Wade sliced through the Hawks' defense with sharp passes, but it may have taken away from his shooting rhythm. Wade couldn't find his touch all game and struggled to pile up points against the bigger Joe Johnson. The bounty of assists is nice, but the Heat could have used a scorer's mindset.
Bosh's early dunk on the entire Hawks frontcourt should be catnip for "SportsCenter" producers. Bosh played some rare minutes at the 5 against the Hawks' Al Horford, but Bosh certainly didn't rebound like a center. Aside from the highlight-reel dunk, Bosh was complacent at times and stuck to the perimeter. He came alive in the fourth, but they needed more board work.
The Heat came out guns blazing and punishing the paint, but the aggressiveness disappeared after the Hawks played a gimmick defense. The Heat tend to fall in love with the 18-footer for long stretches and tonight was no different. When it goes in, it's great; when it doesn't, it's inexcusable.
This was the Hawks' first real test in the East and their performance was a reminder that they're not going away anytime soon. Credit Larry Drew for bagging his man-to-man early and throwing the zone at the Heat. It killed the Heat's run and sucked all the life out of the arena. The Hawks deployed their normal balanced attack and received huge contributions from Tracy McGrady and the rest of the bench.
-- Grades by Tom Haberstroh