After attacking the basket at will in the first quarter, James settled into the distributor role. He produced a number of draw and kicks and pretty swing passes for his teammates. His big alley-oop lob to Udonis Haslem in the fourth quarter was a pivotal moment in a surprisingly tight game.
Remember the old cartoon where the stranded, starving islanders visualize each other as drumsticks? That's how Wade saw the Raptors defenders. Nearly every possession Wade touched the ball was an invitation to slice through the defense directly to the rim and draw contact ... when Toronto offered any.
James said the team would give Bosh as many touches as he wanted against his old team. Unfortunately, Bosh saw limited action after getting in foul trouble. When he was on the floor, Bosh was extremely aggressive with his dribble drives and downright surly when he slammed one down the throat of Amir Johnson in the third quarter.
Keeping in mind that they were up against the flimsiest of defenses, the Zydrunas Ilgauskas-for-Joel Anthony swap at the starting center spot gave the Heat some needed stretch to their half-court schemes. Ilgauskas was almost perfect on the night from the floor and his size bothered the Toronto big men.
Without Chris Bosh, the Raptors still run some pretty-looking offensive sets. They rode DeMar DeRozan's freaky athleticism and a gritty team-wide effort on the glass to remain in the game until the closing minutes. Even a mediocre shooting night by Andrea Bargnani might have had us talking about the Raptors in the same breath as the Jazz.