January 20, 2012 | 9:28am
James, who dropped 31 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists, killed a baseball team owner
, and made Kobe Bryant his own personal hand puppet, was forced to miss the pregame shoot-around after spending the previous night coughing and texting his boss that he might not be able to make it for work that day.
But while a chest cold and just a few hours of fitful sleep would render most men completely useless and infirm, to a man like LeBron James, it somehow makes him.... more.... powerful!
This game was prefaced (every Heat game is prefaced with something, no?) with two different Kobe stories that took subtle shots at James. Earlier in the week, Bryant said that the only other guys he sees in the league with the same competitive edge are Chris Paul and Derrick Rose. A day later, Michael Jordan said Kobe is the only guy who truly deserves to be compared to him.
Enter LeBron James and his giant dong.
From the outset, LBJ commanded the game. Scoring points, playing ball crushing defense and passing the ball to open teammates. Meanwhile, Bryant started the game 1-for-8. That's as many as Eddy Curry had in that span!
Thanks mainly to Shane Battier, who was brought here because of his shit-in-the-opponent's-mouth perimeter defensive badassness, Kobe was frustrated all night. LeBron, on the other hand, whaled on his old Cleveland coach Mike Brown's new team with a garden hose.
At one point, with I Have A Patent On Competitive Edgeness Michael Jordan Jr., all over him at the top of the key, James rocketed a sideways no-look pass to Battier at the corner of the court, where he drained a wide-open three. LeBron passed the ball, and simply walked to the other side of the court holding up three fingers, not even bothering to look if the ball went in.
For all the dick baggery defense the Heat had played in their three-game losing streak last week, they came to fuck last night, clamping down on the Lakeshow and holding them to just 31 percent in the first half. Bryant, who came off a pair of 40-point games and had everyone jizzing their pants over it, was held to 24-points, most of those coming in desperation time when he started chucking three pointers and the Heat defense just didn't give a shit any more.
The game also featured the debut of Eddy Curry, who waddled in looking svelte and ready, and contributed six points and three rebounds in six minutes of play. "Felt great," he said afterwards when asked about his return to NBA action. He then probably thought about frosting.
So now the Heat are 5-0 without Dwyane Wade (who is still out with a bum ankle). And, once again, instead of enjoying the win, people will chime in that Miami is better without D-Wade. Those people need to be punched in the dick by one of them boxing kangaroos.
Still, what is undeniable, is the balls-out offense the Heat have played the last two games against very strong opponents. The Heat outscored the crap out of both the Spurs and the Lakers by a combined 137-83. Take into account that this is a team that is just getting a resurrected Pet Semetary Mike Miller, a still-rusty-as-shit Eddy Curry, and no Wade. And then think about how shit will go down once all the pieces are in place, including a 100 percent healthy D-Wade, a totally still together Miller, and a non-flu having LeBron James.
The Heat host the Philadelphia 76ers Saturday night. Tipoff is at 7:30