Ballin: Just watch a minute of LeBron James’ third quarter highlights and you’ll have your answer to who was last night’s MBP, Most Ballinest Player. By the time that 25-footer came around, LeBron was so on fire that as soon as he had a sliver of daylight I said “This is in” to my wife, who wasn’t paying attention, and then I just giggled when it splashed. Killer.
Not so much: Lance Stephenson had more turnovers (3) than assists (2) and more fouls (6) than points (4) on the very same day that some people tried to start the Lance Stephenson bandwagon. As a fellow who appreciates that he made himself in to a useful player but will not ever like the guy, I was OK with this.
Grrrrr: A lot of puffed-out chests in Miami last night, and I’m not talking about the breast implants for once.
Here are two things that I am surprised did not happen: 1) Chris Andersen was not kicked out, which I thought was a guarantee if you push someone in the 2013 NBA; 2) Udonis Haslem hasn’t called anyone a fake tough guy or studio gangster yet, which is kind of his favorite thing. Personally, I’m just bummed out that neither of these skirmishes led to some old-school forehead-to-forehead trash talk. That really needs to make a comeback.
Also not so much: George Hill missed all four of his field goal attempts, scored just one point and had nearly as many turnovers (3) as assists (4). Considering you know Lance Stephenson’s stats, you can probably tell that last night wasn’t the best performance for the Pacers backcourt. (For good measure, the only stats D.J. Augustin posted last night were a turnover and a foul. Yikes award to these guys.)
Rope-a-dope: Amazing bit of trickery from Mario Chalmers last night.
It’s not quite the ultimate Vince Carter fake, but you have to give it up for a guy who looked like he was dead right up until the moment he had a wide-open three. You can tell he was really hurt because he didn’t come out of the game.
Sam Young Memorial Bad Stint Award: Lance Stephenson picked up his second foul two-and-a-half minutes in to the first quarter, so you might think it was him. But no, he was replaced by Sam Young himself, who proceeded to turn the ball over on his very first offensive possession, then get called for a 24-second violation after passing up open shots that he knew he’d miss, then turn the ball over again when Dwyane Wade stripped him as he was going to the basket. He did blow by Ray Allen for a dunk in the second quarter, which might have made him the most successful Pacers guard of the evening, but that wasn’t part of his original stint, so he’s still taking home his namesake award. Congratulations?
Crushin’ it: Udonis Haslem made like 60 baseline jumpers, which eventually led to Roy Hibbert biting hard on Haslem’s pump fake, which eventually led to a mammoth of a dunk.
Another 8-9 shooting performance for Haslem, which brings the grand total of games this season where he’s made eight or more shots to two, both of which have come during this series and both of which contributed to Heat wins. It might be asking a lot, but maybe he should make eight shots in every game.
#Respect: Roy Hibbert (22 points, 8-14 shooting, six rebounds) and Paul George (27 points, 11-19 shooting, 11 rebounds, five assists) were both really good again, which is why this game wasn’t a total blowout. In fact, those two scored all 23 of the Pacers’ first quarter points, which seemed impressive at the time but ended up being a pretty bad omen.
Other things: Chris Andersen ended his confrontation with Tyler Hansbrough in a most emphatic fashion … LeBron on his game last night: ”I just kind of went back to my Cleveland days” … LeBron also lit up his teammates at halftime … The Kings are hiring Golden State assistant coach Mike Malone as their head bro, if you care … GIF up top via Reddit