LeBron James: A-plus. On the biggest stage, the best players come up big, or so the belief goes. Despite the strange reputation, LeBron came up big once again against the Lakers, again setting the tone along with Dwyane Wade and led the Heat to a victory. Maybe it was the three dozen steals and dunks in the first quarter, maybe it was the flying around the court on defense like a madman, maybe it was scoring the last five points to truly ice the game. Whatever it was, it seems he’s still really great. How about that.
Dwyane Wade: A. He and James dominated the first quarter, and Wade kept it up all night. Other than a strange three-pointer that can be chalked up to heat checking, he had great shot selection (nothing better than a dunk) did a great job on Kobe (3-for-16 in the first three quarters) and didn’t take no guff. Just when you think he might have started to slow, he goes and tomahawk dunks from damn near the free throw line. It’s nice to see.
Chris Bosh:B. Kind of a weird night for Chris, only seven points on 3-of-10 shooting,six boards and six steals. Strong defensive effort is one way to read it, and after all he did a good job along with Joel Anthony of keeping Dwight Howard quiet. Pau Gasol played well against Chris though, but Pau is really good and really tall. I’ve come to the conclusion Bosh won’t ever live up to box score expectations, but he was alright this night.
Joel Anthony: B. Another great outing for Anthony, he worked hard agaist Dwight Howard, sacrificed his body to slow the Laker attack down and he even scored a point! Considering his assignment, he did well, more than you could hope for.
Mario Chalmers: C-minus. Bit of an ugly game, he played solid defense on old man Nash, but Nash is old, and he still shot 50%. Rio turned the ball over once with three assists, along with the four fouls not a grand time. No, you can’t expect him to score 34 points every night, but 1-for-7 is just not any good.
Heat Team Defense: B-plus. It was active for a rare exciting time, did a great job in the paint considering who was hanging out there, and kept Kobe Bryant quiet for long enough. The Lakers shot 10-of-22 from three though, and that’s with Joel Anthony bringing a paint presence. The rotations look sound though, and Rashard Lewis actually gave a hand for a bit. Shane Battier is being mixed in comfortably and slowly, and their paint defense is improving. All in all, not bad. Not perfect, but not bad.