Likewise Boston (presumably) in the next round will promise built-in motivation, even beyond the fact the NBA Finals would be a step away. Its the Celtics. There is a recent playoff history. There is the heft of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Rajon Rondo.
But Indiana? This was the series Miami might have lulled its way through and been ripe for an upset.
That was before Indiana was kind enough to do Miami the huge factor of angering and motivating the Heat with its nonsense, its jawing and flagrant fouls.
The Pacers provided a manual for what not to do when facing the Heat:
Start jabbing a stick at that big Rottweiler dozing on the front porch.
Its been a physical series, started by them, as Wade put it.
And you thought the Knicks Amare Stoudemire punching his fist through fire-extinguisher glass in the previous series passed for NBA playoff drama?
Miami vs. Indiana was a machismo festival, a parade of posturing.
The perfect illustration: Haslem, with nine stitches covered by a bandage after taking an elbow to the forehead, serving a games suspension Thursday after a payback foul for the blood trickling down Wades face.
My favorite macho snapshot of this series didnt involve blood, though, but rather Pacer reserve Lance Stephensons choking sign directed at, of all people, LeBron James.
That is like a grain of beach sand taunting the ocean.
So much ancillary noise.
Pacers president Larry Bird was desperate in playing the challenge-their-manhood card by calling his team soft.
But no more than it was a bit disingenuous of Spoelstra to suggest the other guys were the goons in this series when it was his two guys sitting out suspended Thursday for earlier flagrant fouls.
Spoelstra had it researched and determined the Pacers this season had committed over a dozen hard fouls to the face, some of the tomahawk variety, against James and Wade in nine games including this series and regular season.
Upset over Haslems suspension, Speolstra complained, The league does not have a problem with hard fouls on our two main guys.
So much silly static.
This series seemed almost too much fun to end early. Too deliciously teeming with cartoon testosterone to stop now. When the bad blood includes real blood, and the combined technical fouls and flagrant fouls climb up into the double digits, you have something special. You felt like Heat vs. Pacers was meant to go to a Game 7, but only because they dont make game eights.
But one man decided otherwise.
Thursday night muted all the nonsense and let whats real come through clear.
This series ended in six because one player said so.
Miami was better, period.
And nobody was better than Dwyane Wade.