The reaction among the experts, media, and haterz the world over after the Indiana Pacers had roughed up and beaten the Miami Heat in the teams' first two meetings this season was that the Pacers clearly had Miami's number and that the Heat might as well go the way of the Montreal Expos and no longer exist because Indiana was now king of the castle.
So, for their third matchup of the season Sunday night, the Heat decided it was time to stop screwing around and clubbed the Pacers unconscious with a pillowcase full of bars of soap and then stuffed their lifeless body into a wood chipper Fargo-style in a 105-91 victory.
Just days before Sunday's hoedown, Pacers swingman Paul George told reporters that he just could not wait to play the game.
"I'm real excited for this game," George said. "It'll be like Christmas Eve; I won't be able to sleep."
And then Christmas morning came, but instead of finding that super-cool G.I. Joe action figure they asked Santa for, the Pacers instead found a pile of shit left there by a drifter named Joe who broke into the house the night before.
Led by a nut-demolishing performance by Dwyane Wade and his 23 points, the Heat put the kibosh on any hopes the Pacers had on making a "statement" heading into the latter part of the regular season.
D-Wade, who has been leaving piles of NBA corpses in his wake lately, was a human heat-seeking missile in Indiana's passing lanes, getting seven steals with a tireless energy we haven't seen from MV3 since his early playing days, when Shaq gave him that stupid "Flash" nickname.
Wade simply murdered Pacer ass Sunday night, wreaking havoc by forcing Indiana into turnovers and squeezing through the Pacers fortified tree-branch-like defense in the paint and slinging up and making shots in that crazy acrobatic HOW IN THE SWEET SUMMER DICKMAS DID HE DO THAT??? style that he excels at.
Chris Bosh, meanwhile, proved what a sack-tearing badass videobomber he is when he wants to be, even in the face of a Pacers team that seems to try to bully him and take his lunch money every time these two teams meet.
Bosh, being the versatile international gentleman of leisure that he is, not only crushed the Pacers' so-called "NBA's best shooting percentage defense" with his silky-smooth jumper but he also brought the dino-ruckus with an inside game that ground the Pacers' big men's bones into a fine dust.
Bosh threw down 24 points, hitting gorgeous arching J's from 20 feet and forcing guys like Roy Hibbert to have to commit to defending the perimeter, which is pretty much like coaxing an angry charging giraffe to try to chase you on an ice rink.
And there was the final insult: Mario Chalmers scorching the Pacers with a game-leading 26 points, hitting fists-to-the-larynx threes and taking advantage of giraffetits on ice Hibbert by flashing past him for easy layups.
Say what you will about Rio, but when he's not throwing passes three levels into the stands or fouling dudes immediately after turning the ball over, the man decidedly comes to fuck and not walk.
Mario went full BIZARRO CHALMERS, going a slap-yo-momma's-ass-with-a-canoe-pattle-efficient 7-for-9 from the field, including five three pointers, and manhandling the giant Pacers for a career-high seven rebounds.
According to STATS LLC, only two players have scored at least 26 points on nine shots or fewer since November 17, 2010. One was Chris Paul, the other: Chalmers.
Sure he can be insanely infuriating and constantly gets yelled at by the other guys when he does goofy shit that costs the team leads. But Super Mario knows big games, and he always seems to come through.
And all this Pacer nutpunching came while LeBron James turned in a pedestrian 13 points on 5-for-10 shooting.
That isn't to say that LeBron wasn't his usual DEATH HAMMER OF THE GODS self.
Just ask Hibbert when LBJ brought down the savage thunder with a one-handed jam that threw all the clocks ahead an hour and pushed the Heat to a 24-7 run into the second half:
But for all intents and purposes, this was a down game for Cobradick.
And yet, the Heat brought the pain with a 14-point win over its biggest challenger while stretching its winning steak to 18 games.
Gobs and gobs of Miami Heat awesomeness all up in you?
Gobs and gobs of Miami Heat awesomeness all up in you.