James displayed his best shot selection in weeks -- though he was awfully quiet down the stretch when desperation set in for the Heat. He took a majority of his attempts in the basket area, and his shots from distance were usually open catch-and-shoots. On the other end, Gerald Wallace successfully muscled his way to the hoop against LeBron on more than one occasion.
He made a killing at the line, drawing contact as he exploded to the rack off high screens, and was downright freakish in transition (witness the block on Wes Matthews and solo run-out for a vicious slam to start the fourth quarter). Wade was an unstoppable force in the fourth, doing everything in his power to keep the Heat within shouting distance.
He was more active in the Heat's offense than his unimpressive line suggests. It was nice to see him going hard to the basket on slip-screens, which produced space and opportunities for James and Wade. But Bosh was also one of the culprits beneath the Portland glass, where the Blazers pummeled the Heat. Bosh also gave LaMarcus Aldridge far too much space to work with.
Heatologists have been asking, "Where's the James-Wade pick-and-roll?!" Their question was finally answered on Tuesday night. The Heat's two perimeter superstars choreographed screen-roll actions on a number of their half-court sets. The Heat's failings on Tuesday were defensive in nature, but if they can follow this offensive blueprint, they should turn things around.
The Portland offense hummed. The Trail Blazers worked tirelessly off the ball, carved up the Heat with their multiple-action stuff and fed Aldridge down on the left block. This was also Wallace's official welcome party (22 points), as he repeatedly got the best of LeBron. And, as usual, the Blazers got a boatload of second opportunities on the offensive glass.