The Miami Heat took a 3-1 lead in its Eastern Conference semifinal matchup against Brooklyn on Monday night, beating the Nets 102-96.
While there are plenty of game and series recaps to peruse, we at the Pulp like to dig deeper and get into some specific stuff you may or may not have noticed.
Come along with us throughout these playoffs while the Heat continues its quest for a three-peat, as we present to you a handful of things we learned from the games.
Maybe you'll learn something. Maybe you'll just relive a cool moment. Either way, you'll be walking away from these posts having a life-altering experience.
LET'S DIVE IN!
1. The Heat Needed METACOBRADICK to Make an Appearance Once again, LeBron James proves that he is the six-foot-eight, 250-pound embodiment of God's wrath. Before Game 4 tipped off, the Nets' Paul Pierce demanded from his coach that he, "The Truth," guard LeBron because he knows James' tendencies better than anyone on Brooklyn. He spoke about approaching the Heat with no fear and said they were beatable.
And then the actual game started.
And as Pierce continued to talk directly from his ass-crack, LeBron came out and flexed his seething, unbridled awesomeness by dropping 49 points on Brooklyn and rendering Pierce and the Nets a heaping pile of useless.
At a time when everyone else in a Heat uniform was playing basketball like they had literally just learned how to five minutes before tip-off, LeBron went from Cobradick to METACOBRADICK and was able to score 49 of Miami's 102 points.
He was even able to shut down Joe Johnson during the Nets' last two key possessions. And when the game was on the line, LeBron did that thing where he outthinks everyone else on the court and found Chris Bosh with a gorgeous pass as Bosh proceeded to drain the dagger three.
After all the talking and yelling by Pierce, LeBron did exactly what he said he'd do. He let his game do the talking.
Pierce's jabbering was basically the equivalent to that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark when that one dude comes up to Indiana Jones and starts waiving his giant sword around, showing him how big the sword is and how good he is at handling it, and then Indiana Jones takes out his gun and shoots him dead.
2. Dwyane Wade Quantum-Leaped Into the Body of Some Guy He had that huge offensive rebound at the end of the game that prevented the Nets from taking it to the other end and getting off some ridiculous three-pointer that would've changed the outcome of the game. And he scored 15 points overall. But Dwyane Wade was pretty abysmal for most of last night.
Normally in a game like this, Wade is stepping up and tag-teaming with LeBron, taking turns wrecking ass and obliterating the opponent to smithereens and doing Eurosteps and OVA DEY HEADZ and the like. But in Game 4, it was as if he switched bodies with the Trivago guy and just started to point out where the best hotels can be found IN THE MIDDLE OF THE GAME instead of, you know, playing good basketball. He had trouble with Zootsuit Livingston on defense and made bone-headed plays on offense that made it looked like he had forgotten what a basketball is. He made some horribly timed turnovers that gave the Nets life and was nonexistent offensively in the second half.
Basically, LeBron scored 49 because Wade kept mysteriously leaping in and out of dimensions. It's our only explanation for why he was so crappy.
3. ENOUGH WITH BATBOY, SPOELSTRA! GOD! James Jones played almost as many minutes as Rashard Lewis in Game 4 and scored as many points (0) and took one fewer shot. But JJ's plus/minus was +5, while Rashard's was +1. And while there's not much separating the two there, it's becoming abundantly clear that Rashard Lewis is ass (metrics!). Seriously, Jones isn't that much of a better basketball player, but at least he brings a legit three-point threat that the other team has to at least be concerned with. When the other team sees Rashard, they see a half-man, half-bat that sucks at basketball.
Look, Lewis is a fine player, but Spoelstra playing him as many minutes as he has in this series has been maddening.
And let's not forget JJ's key block in the third quarter against Kevin Garnett that sparked an explosive LeBron dunk at the other end.
James Jones needs to start playing way more minutes than Rashard Lewis. We want it. The fans want it. LeBron wants it. Go and make it so, Spo.
4. Chris Bosh Will Murder You Slowly Chris Bosh did not have a fantastic start to Game 4. He was tentative, failed to even attempt a shot early on, and was constantly outmuscled by the mummified remains of Kevin Garnett.
Bosh attempted six three-pointers, of which only two connected, while the other four seemed rushed and forced, like somebody threw a dead frog at him and he threw it up into the air in disgust.
But the one that dropped at the end, of course, mattered.
With less than a minute to play and the game still teetering, LeBron did the one thing everyone else in Heat Nation failed to do -- he placed his faith in Chris Bosh. At the most crucial moment on the game, instead of taking the shot, LeBron passed the ball to Bosh, who managed to knock down the silky-smooth three-point dagger right into Brooklyn's face.