That was an MVP-type performance. That 60-foot alley-oop from Dwyane Wade in the first quarter didn't wake him up, but the end of the third-quarter buzzer sure did. The freshly awarded Most Valuable Player looked sluggish out of the gate, but he came alive in the fourth quarter and the Pacers were absolutely defenseless against him.
With LeBron struggling to get in the groove early, Wade took the reins and attacked the basket relentlessly. That was critical. The Heat need someone to penetrate the paint against the Pacers' trees underneath and Wade was up for the task. Getting Roy Hibbert in foul trouble is as vital as anything in this series and Wade's basket attacks did that Sunday.
Just seconds after dunking an and-1 on Hibbert in the second quarter, Bosh came up limp on the other end of the floor and had to leave the game. He missed the entire second half with an abdominal strain. He had a strong game before his injury and make no mistake -- this could be a crushing blow to the Heat if he misses significant time.
As soon as Chris Bosh needed to come out of the game, Ronny Turiaf was ready and made an instant impact with a series of dunks. And then he turned his ankle. The Heat were forced to then turn to Joel Anthony and believe it or not, he went on a rare mini-scoring spree. The Heat don't win this game without Anthony's contributions.
The Pacers blew a huge opportunity, simple as that. With Bosh sidelined after halftime, Indiana went away from its obvious weapons in David West and Hibbert. The foul trouble didn't help matters, but there's no excuse after Miami lost its only scoring presence on the block. Danny Granger picked a bad time to have a terrible game.