Instead of attacking the rim, sinking incredible shots and putting a stamp on the series, as he has done in the past, Wade responded with the worst playoff outing of his career.
Instead of issuing a response in Game 3, the Heat rolled over, getting crushed 94-75 to fall behind 2-1 in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
In need of his leadership, Wade instead totaled the same amount of turnovers as points and allowed George Hill, his defensive assignment for the night, to score a team-high 20 points for Indiana.
For the first time in 95 playoff appearances, Wade was held scoreless in the first half and instead of becoming more of a leader in the absence of Chris Bosh, he served as more of a distraction.
As Wade struggled, the pressure on LeBron James mounted. James scored 22 points on 10-of-22 shooting from the field and logged 40 minutes, all out of position at power forward in the absence of Bosh.
Wade didn’t sink his first shot of the evening until 10:22 remained the third quarter. During a break in the action, he was approached by Spoelstara and was seen arguing with his coach.
The problem was after walking away from Spoelstra, he turned back and continued to yell, enough to force teammates to intervene as his frustration spilled over.
During subsequent timeouts, Wade would head to the end of the bench, ignoring any message from Spoelstra, refusing to be a part of team huddles, instead talk to assistants and other teammates.
“That happens,” Spoelstra said during the post game press conference. “Those exchanges happen all the time during the course of an NBA season.”
Thursday marked the second altercation between Spoelstra and a high profile player on Miami. Last season, James bumped Spoelstra as he was heading to the bench following a timeout call.
The disagreement with his coach was just part of a miserable night for Wade.
He finished with just five points, his lowest total in a playoff game since his rookie year in 2004, connected on just 2-of-13 attempts from the field, with five rebounds and five turnovers.
For the second straight game, Miami managed just 75 points.
The Heat were the seventh highest scoring team in the regular season, averaging 98.5 points per game, but without Bosh to spread the floor, Indiana has clogged the paint and eliminated the slashing lanes for James and Wade.
Without Bosh on the floor, Wade and James combined for 52 points, but none of their teammates scored more than five points and the rest of the team managed a combined nine field goals.
Miami finally found an answer outside of the high scoring duo, as Mario Chalmers scored a playoff career-high 25 points.
Chalmers became the first member outside of the Big 3 to lead the Heat in scoring during a playoff game since the trio came together in the summer of 2010.
James tallied 22 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals, but wasn’t able to provide scoring relief during a dismal third quarter for Miami, as it scored just 12 points, its lowest total of any period this post season.
Still in the game, entering the fourth quarter trailing by 11 points, the Heat couldn’t put together a strong defensive performance, allowing the Pacers to shoot 50 percent from the field in the fourth quarter.
Trying to find a way to slow down Roy Hibbert, Miami started Pittman at center.
Following three ineffective minutes, Joel Anthony was inserted into the lineup and the Heat responded, closing the first quarter on a 20-4 run, taking a nine point lead.
From there, Hibbert dominated, posting a career-high 18 rebounds along with 19 points and five blocks.
The Heat are now just two victories away from having its season come to a close.
Wade has to take control of the series, not his frustrations out on his coach.