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As usual, Wade rises to the occasion

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Dwyane Wade has been counted out countless times, but in the Eastern Conference Finals he has not disappointed.

Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

He sat more than a third of the season. He was hobbled at times. He came back. He went down again, and again, and again, and he always got back up. His belief is stronger than your doubt. He sacrificed minutes, shots, money, and fame for rings and a chance to create something historic with the best player in the basketball universe, and it sure did pay off.

After dropping Game 1, a game that was lost with defensive indifference and poor shooting, Dwyane Wade showed up big time in Game 2. In these 2014 Eastern Conference Finals, again against the pesky Pacers, he’s looked like the best player on the floor, let alone the best player on the Heat.

It wasn’t about X’s and O’s. It was about how bad we wanted it. -Dwyane Wade

It seems that all the rest that Coach Erik Spoelstra allowed for him during the regular season has left him fresh and limber for this tough, physical Eastern Conference battle. LeBron said postgame in an interview with Dorris Burke of ESPN that in the Eastern Conference basketball is "never pretty", meanwhile his running mate seems to be the antithesis of this distinction.

An athletic put back slam, a few "ova dey head" eurostep moves and a sweet dunk off a slick pass from James in the final seconds of the fourth quarter just begin to tell the story of an overall great game from the Miami original. The Heat got 23 points out of number 3 in their four-point victory Tuesday, he and LeBron scoring all but three points in the fourth quarter, a perfect 5-5 in the frame for Dwyane.

The Heat’s leading scorer played a big role on the defensive end as well, helping to lock down struggling Paul George as well as red-hot Lance Stephenson at times.

The Heat need Dwyane more than ever in this series, a matchup that meets LeBron with the constant threat of becoming double teamed by larger defenders.  Wade, with the savvy veteran moves that he has in his arsenal is allowed to easily abuse Lance Stephenson, especially when he has the floater working.

The Heat take on the Pacers for Game 3 from Miami on Saturday night.