Monday NBA grades: It’s LeBron’s world, we just live in it

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Our quick look around the NBA, or what you missed while thinking it’s a brilliant idea to raise pigs to taste like whiskey….

source:  LeBron James, Miami Heat. In Game 3 (a Brooklyn win) the entire Heat team had 13 shots in the restricted area. In Game 4 Monday night LeBron James was in his self-described “attack mode” and had 12 shots at the rim himself (making 11). LeBron had 25 points in the first half and finished with 49 points on just 24 shots. He carried the Heat offense. When LeBron is like this nobody can slow him, certainly not Paul Pierce (as Charles Barkley said on TNT about Pierce asking to guard LeBron, “he should have asked for a blindfold and a cigarette, too”). This is why you want LeBron on your team, he can win you a playoff games because he decides he wants to win a playoff game.

source:  Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers. He led Portland with 25 points on a night the Trail Blazers returned to the attacking, impressive offensive form that made them such a threat this season. Lillard had nine of his points in the fourth quarter, including five straight at one point to help kill a mini-run by the Spurs before things got too serious. This looked like the Lillard we saw all season, the attacking version (he was 6-of-9 inside 8 feet of the rim), the one the Spurs shut down the past few games. It was good to see him again, at least for a night.