LeBron James: 18Pts 8reb 10ast 4-14FG 8-12FT
Man was that ugly. Ugh I really thought LeBron was immortal. Guess not. The Grizzlies wanted LeBron to shoot and he did and he clanked(3-10 on jumpers). Tayshaun Prince played a terrific game staying in front of James and didn’t allow him to gain momentum for blow by dunks and layups. When LeBron had the opportunity for a layup, well he missed those too(0-3 on layups). The 4th quarter came though and LeBron gave the Grizz a F*** You 3 with 24 seconds left. He led all scorers in the 4th with 14 points.
Dwyane Wade: 22Pts 4reb 8ast 9-16FG 4-6FT
Opened up the game making one of his ridiculous one legged step back jumpers. Living up to his nickname WOW, D-Wade was on the receiving end of two 70 foot touchdown passes from LeBron. D-Wade had a great game reading the pick-n-roll and finding lanes for shots or assists. Wade is really hitting a groove right now and playing great basketball. He is looking fast and agile as ever and hopefully it stays that way.
Chris Bosh: 13PTS 6reb 1ast 6-13FG 1-2FT
Damn you Lil Wayne. Ever since “the greatest rapper alive” went on his stage rampage, Bosh has looked out of it on the boards. Gasol and Randolph were tipping balls up for rebounds and keeping possessions alive for Memphis. He made his usual jumpers from 17 feet out but it was a struggle fest for Bosh other than that. There is no way Bosh is looking forward to playing Chandler this Sunday.
X Factor: Shane Battier. Gutsy, gutsy game from Battier. Only grabbed two rebounds but they were the biggest of the game. Battier brought down two rebounds in the last 1:30 to keep Memphis from attempting a comeback. 4 for 5 from deep and it was reminiscent of the 2012 playoffs. The box score doesn’t explain what kind of impact Battier brings to the Heat.
Better off without Rudy: To reiterate what Bill Simmons said at the halftime, the Grizzlies look so much better without Rudy Gay. The ball is now in the hands of Mike Conley who does not turn the ball over often.
Did we see the reincarnation of Tayshaun Prince? He had his signature chase down Reggie Miller block in the 3rd quarter. You get the full potential of his defensive abilities on the Grizzlies. His length and 7-2 wingspan really frustrated LeBron from seeing the paint and seeing Miami’s offense develop. The team defense was suffocating, the Grizz didn’t allow Miami to get easy looks in the paint. Nearly every time LeBron touched the ball near the post, there was Grizzly defenders rotating and shading where his next move might be.
Marc Gasol gave the Heat problems underneath of the rim and even in transition on two plays. He was all over the glass in first half. Gasol is a master of the post. He made some jumpers, at rim shots, and made slick passes.
The Heat fly to New York to take on the Knicks, Sunday at 1 p.m.