The 2012 Playoffs continue, as the twenty third day is already behind us. There was only one game played in it. The Miami Heat took the lead in the series with a new win. Some players played above the expectation but some below them.

Unlike the majority of the lists that I've published so far, this will only be a top three list. Who ranks on top? Without any further ado, let's start.

3. Shane Battier
Shane Battier was one of those players that set the tone for the Miami Heat in game five of the 2012 playoffs with his great play. He was a contributor on both sides for his team. He provided the spark, especially at the start of the game.

Shane opened up with nine points, connecting on three attempts from the arc. He was excellent defensively as he played great defense on his man and was good off the ball. The stats confirm that this has actually been his best performance of the entire playoffs so far.

Battier scored 13 points, grabbed three boards, dished out an assist, recorded a steal, blocked one shot, had one turnover, shot 4-6 from the field, 4-6 from three point land and 1-2 from the free throw line in 26 minutes of action.

2. Dwyane Wade
After breaking through in the previous game against the Pacers with an excellent performance, Heat's guard Dwyane Wade continued in similar fashion. He had a second great consecutive performance, as he helped his team to beat their opponents.

Dwyane was aggressive and in an attacking mode throughout the entire match. He got in his rhythm from the start, got to the line where he made his trips, was active on both sides of the court and was great in many aspects. The stats back that up.

Wade finished with 28 points, grabbed three rebounds, dished out two dimes, recorded two steals, swatted a shot, committed four turnovers, shot 10-17 from the field, 1-2 from distance and 7-13 from the stripe in 33 minutes of action. When all things are taken in consideration, he was more than great.

1. LeBron James
Much like his teammate Wade, Miami's forward LeBron James continued in similar fashion with yet another excellent performance. He was arguably the biggest reason why his team ended up victories in game five of the 2012 postseason.

LeBron was all over the court, as he put on display his amazing skills. He was aggressive and focused in the entire game. He scored in bunches, included his teammates on offense quite nicely, was great on the glass and was excellent in all the aspects of defense too. The stats back up his excellence.

James scored 30 points, grabbed 10 boards, dished out eight dimes, recorded a steal, blocked one shot, had four turnovers, shot 12-19 from the field, 2-4 from three point land and perfect 4-4 from the stripe in just under 40 minutes (38 to be exact). He just missed out on a triple double again, but got the win.

Darko Mihajlovski is a columnist at FootBasket. He also contributes to Hoops-Nation. You can read more about him at our Staff page


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