LeBron's second return to Cleveland went off the rails. He had his entourage turned away at shootaround, then opted to sit out opening introductions. He had plenty of opportunities to attack, but aside from a couple of power drives, he turned in a passive performance. His only notable highlight came on the bizarre reversed call at the end of the third quarter.
After he exchanged pleasantries with Ryan Hollins, Wade looked like he might unleash one of those notorious, wrath-fueled performances. Instead, he played recklessly -- committing errant turnovers, shooting ill-advised fadeaways and making bad defensive gambles. His pair of bombs brought the Heat back from the brink, but he also took a silly step-back 3 that cost the Heat late.
After a banner month, Bosh was atrocious Tuesday. He played with two left feet, failed to execute the simplest of tasks, dropped the ball in traffic and rarely contested anything defensively. Bosh's shortcomings on the glass killed the Heat, and to top it off, his pair of missed free throws with about three minutes to play torched any chances the Heat had of staging a comeback.
Bibby's fourth start as a member of the Heat was one of the best supporting performances Miami has gotten all season. He drilled seven shots from beyond the arc and single-handedly kept the Heat in the game. Bibby tied it in the fourth on a huge, spot-up 3-pointer from the left wing. He still struggles defensively, but he held his own in the Heat's 2-3 zone.
The Cavs gave their home crowd the scrappy performance they failed to deliver in December. They used their size against a demure Heat front line, abusing Miami on the boards. Hollins and J.J. Hickson worked their way to the line for 22 attempts. When the Heat pressured the ball side, the Cavs popped the ball around to Anthony Parker. And Baron Davis provided the swag factor.