Wade, who would score five points on 2-of-13 shooting from the field during the Heat’s 94-75 loss to the Indiana Pacers in Game 3 Of the NBA Eastern Conference semifinals, would get into a heated exchange with Spoelstra during the third quarter.
The star-studded Heat—already minus forward/center Chris Bosh—were dominated in the paint by Indiana’s bigger and more physical frontline of center Roy Hibbert, small forward Danny Granger and David West, as Indiana would out-rebound Miami 52-36.
Wade, a former NBA Finals MVP and champion, would look like more like a lethargic D-League bench reserve than a All-Star in missing 11 of 13 shots from the field, as he would be held scoreless from the field in the first half.
While the detractors and haters of Miami—and they are legion—may be tempted to pile on the Heat, one should be careful to dismiss a team that still has both Wade and three-time MVP in LeBron James.
Credit deserves to be given a very underrated—and slighted in the media—Indiana Pacers ballclub that played with a chip on it’s shoulder and had a clear game plan of shutting down Wade by forcing him into uncomfortable shots and exploiting Bosh’s absence down in the low post with Hibbert.
While Wade would down-play the heated exchange with Spoelstra in his post-game interview, Wade’s in-game theatrics and reported lower leg injury—did not help the already delicate position that Miami is in.
Wade and Spoelstra need to check their respective egos at the proverbial door quickly before they both dig the Heat into an almost unthinkable 3-1 series deficit by the end of Sunday.
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