Miami Heat vs. Golden State Warriors: Postgame Grades and Analysis for Heat
The Warriors were without their starting point guard, Stephen Curry, but taking into account the intense pressure defense Miami put on up and down the court for a majority of the night, there's a good chance his participation wouldn't have made a relevant impact.
James was unstoppable with the ball, Dwyane Wade showed flashes of his former self and the Heat defense held the Warriors to 36.2 percent shooting in one of its most dominating efforts of the season.
Point Guard: Mario Chalmers
Chalmers missed his first five shots and ceded much of his first-half playing time to Ray Allen and Norris Cole. He eventually caught fire from behind the three-point line, benefiting from some open looks as Golden State continued to place all its focus on stopping LeBron James.
He finished the game with 15 points on 11 shots and made four of Miami's eight three-pointers.
Shooting Guard: Dwyane Wade
Wade took a backseat to James but had a pretty good night on his own. He threw two gorgeous half-court alley-oop passes to his primary running mate and sparked Miami's defensive effort with two steals in the game's first six minutes.
In 30 minutes, Wade posted a fantastic all-around effort, with 15 points, eight rebounds, six assists and five steals.
Small Forward: LeBron James
LeBron was awesome from the start, drawing all of Golden State's defensive attention every time he stationed himself on the right block. It's there he found cutters, like Wade, and made the Warriors coaching staff sweat.
Heading into the game he needed 19 points to reach 20,000 for his career, and he scored his 19th with three minutes left in the first half while gliding through the paint with a jumper.
By halftime he had 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting and six assists. Amazing individual numbers for over 95 percent of the league, and he did it in a half.
James finished with 25 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists in 31 historic minutes.
Power Forward: Udonis Haslem
Haslem looked about 10 years younger on an absolutely filthy putback dunk off a LeBron James miss in the first half, and early on he gave the Heat exactly what they needed on the glass.
He finished with 10 rebounds and played with the type of energy Miami has lacked over the past couple weeks. Haslem was the only Heat starter to finish with less than 10 points scoring (he had six).
Center: Chris Bosh
Bosh had a rough go of it Wednesday night, especially on the boards. On one particular play, Carl Landry ripped the ball out of his hands as he fell to the ground. (Landry ended the possession with an easy layup.)
He shot 5-of-14 from the field and grabbed six rebounds in 26 minutes.
Sixth Man: Ray Allen
Allen only made one of the five shots he attempted in the first half (a corner three ball in transition), but with LeBron James dominating everything, it didn't seem to matter.
He finished 3-of-11 from the field and 2-of-7 from the three-point line on a rare off shooting night.
With nine minutes remaining in the game, Miami's bench (not including Allen) had combined for a grant total of three points. Rashard Lewis had two and Norris Cole made a free throw.
This is far from an indictment on them, and more a testament to the incredible level of play put on display by Miami's starting five, which annihilated a marginalized Warriors squad for the game's first three quarters.
That being said, Cole struggled from the perimeter on defense, and Shane Battier was invisible in 10 minutes of scoreless play. Everyone else's production game in garbage time.