How the return of vintage Dwyane Wade let the Heat's monster out

By Matt Moore | NBA writer

Game 3: Berger: Pacers lose their way |Struggle with lead | Allen inflicts pain

As the Miami Heat took a 2-1 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals Saturday night, 99-87 over the Indiana Pacers, one play stood out.

The big key to the fourth quarter for Miami was Ray Allen getting loose on the perimeter and knocking down threes like this one. But watch Wade's play here.

That play will be forgotten amidst Allen's brilliance, LeBron James' phenomenal performance, the Pacers' meltdown, etc. But watch him. He spies away to cover the corner three and then reads the move that the Pacers have killed this team with all through the series. Don't believe me, here's Game 1.

The adjustment there was huge. And the play above was what sparked the Heat to break the game open. All game long, even when the Heat took the lead, the Pacers were trying to keep this wild animal in the cage. But when the Heat find ways to get out in transition like that. When you're having to sprint back, find James, find Wade, and find Ray Allen on the wing, they bust loose like some sort of prehistoric monster rampaging across the terrain. Indiana was still trading haymakers before this play, keeping it inside two possessions. This was where they let the animal out.

But beyond the read, watch Wade's athleticism. The burst, the jump, the timing, and the way he transitions into flying drone mode. That may not be 2009 MVP-candidate Wade, but that's 2010-2011 first Heat team Flying Death Machine Wade. It's not broken down, sore-knee Wade from last year this time. And that's really been the series so far for Miami.

Dwyane Wade has given the Heat three great games and they're halfway to the Finals. If he gives them another, this series could be over far sooner than we expected, because of plays like this one, from the Heat's original amazing player.

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