Most people would be out for weeks with the hits LeBron absorbed Tuesday, but LeBron is not like most people. He looked somewhat normal Friday, attacking when necessary and finding creative ways to get his teammates the rock. His jumper was slightly off and he coughed it up more than usual, both perhaps brought on by his sore right elbow.
The Pistons struggled to find answers for Wade in this one. Wade showed off his full repertoire: baby hooks in the post, power dunks in the lane, fadeaway jumpers from the baseline. All on display. With LeBron engaged in distributor mode, Wade took the reins and attacked relentlessly. His scoring punch in the fourth kept the Pistons at bay.
This is why Bosh's free throw game is vital. He might have converted only four shots from the floor, but his ability to draw contact at least saved him from a pathetic scoring output. Bosh held his own on the boards while often being the Heat's biggest player on the floor. It was a solid outing for Bosh, but against tougher opponents, the Heat would need more.
Well, that was quick. Erik Spoelstra wasted no time in getting the newest member of the Miami Heat some burn. Turiaf showed no rust on the court, catching a bounce pass from LeBron and converting for a layup on the move in his first trip down the floor. His dunking putback gave the Heat exactly what they wanted in his debut: energy and production.
The Pistons missed Rodney Stuckey in this game. And Rasheed Wallace, for that matter. The Pistons rallied back in the second half by forcing turnovers and encouraging the Heat's supporting cast to shoot the ball, but the run was short-lived. They could have used another 45-point outburst from Ben Gordon. Twenty-five points would have been helpful, too.