His seven-game performance will go down as one of the most memorable of all time in a big series. James followed up his Game 6 tour de force with a merely exceptional outing. After a quiet, charity-heavy first half, James came alive in the fourth quarter with two barreling drives to the hole on the secondary break, then sustained the momentum.
Wade had a peculiar rhythm for much of the game, even though he had the ball a lot early on. He was the perpetrator of some unsightly turnovers that contributed to the Heat's early hole. Then he drained a big pull-up jumper to vault the Heat into their first lead of the second half. Once that went down, Wade put on his jetpack and found his game.
Would you look at this guy? Stroking it from distance in the fourth quarter like he's been doing it for years? Bosh provided further evidence that having a 6-foot-10 guy who demands attention away from the basket does wonders for the Heat's half-court offense. Considering team and individual context, possibly his biggest game as a member of the Heat.
Early in the season, Battier tweeted a promise to Heat fans that he'd start to make shots -- that's how bad it was. But Game 7 offered Battier the chance to earn it all back, and he made good on the opportunity. He drilled big shots and, as is becoming commonplace, played a few inches and several pounds larger than he is as the Heat's de facto power forward.
This is a comprehensive grade for one of the illustrious and resilient teams of the NBA's renaissance era, and one whose core might have played its last game together. Were the Celtics always the most likable crew? Maybe not, but they were a remarkably unselfish and complementary collection of pros, who were also defensive innovators. Thank you, C's.