Top 20 Highlights from Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers 2012 NBA Playoff Series

Peter EmerickSenior Writer IIMay 20, 2013

Top 20 Highlights from Miami Heat vs. Indiana Pacers 2012 NBA Playoff Series

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    The Eastern Conference Finals are all set, with the mighty Miami Heat taking on the underdog Indiana Pacers.

    A little over a year ago, these teams were facing off against each other in an Eastern Conference semifinals series that aptly displayed their respect and animosity for one another.

    From Danny Granger's insistent attempts to start a fight with everyone wearing a Miami Heat jersey, to LeBron James and Dwyane Wade's dominance in Game 6, this series was full of heart-pounding moments.

    If history has taught us anything, it's that an Eastern Conference Finals between the Heat and Pacers will be one that you won't want to miss.

    As Game 1 gets ready to tip on May 22, let's look back and check out the top 20 highlights from last year's Pacers vs. Heat series.

    Highlights are in order of their appearance in the series.

Game 1: Dwyane Wade to LeBron James Alley Oop to Get Things Started

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    LeBron James and Dwyane Wade started off their second-round series with what they do best: alley-oops.

    With LeBron running 8,000 miles per hour down the sideline, Wade did his best Dan Marino impression and fired a pin-point pass that only LeBron could throw down.

    This play set the tone early in Game 1 for the Heat's fast-paced and high-flying offense.

Game 1: Chris Bosh's "I Strained My Abdominal" Dunk

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    Although Chris Bosh did some damage to his abdominal on this ferocious slam, it was still one of the top moments of the postseason for Bosh.

    He threw down that left-handed rim rattler with some anger and serious force. It's like he was thinking of all those days he wasted in Toronto.

Game 1: LeBron's Behind-the-Back Dish to Ronny Turiaf

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    This one is pretty self-explanatory, but it's still pretty impressive.

    After cutting into the paint, Ronny Turiaf swings around and gets rewarded by a smooth behind-the-back pass from LeBron James for the slam.

    How many 6'8'' 255-pound forwards do you know who can do that with such ease?

Game 2: Dwyane Wade's First-Quarter Take Over: Spin, Dish and Slam

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    Dwyane Wade owned the first quarter of Game 2 in this series, and he did so with three ridiculous plays.

    First, he pulled a street-ball move on Leandro Barbosa when he moved the ball around his head en route to an easy bucket. Then he had a beautiful touch pass to LeBron for the throwdown.

    And finally, Wade spun so fast around Paul George that he altered the time-space continuum. Unfortunately for the Heat, Wade's domination ended there.

Game 2: LeBron and Danny Granger Nearly Enter the Octagon

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    It could've been a bit of flopping on LeBron's part, but this mini spat in Game 2 sure turned up the excitement in this series.

    After LeBron barreled into Granger in the paint, Granger tried to block LeBron's shot but nailed him instead.

    I'm pretty sure the main reason why LeBron was upset here was because his headband fell off. With his receding hairline, that definitely had to hurt for the crowd to see that. No wonder his feelings were hurt.

Game 2: Dwyane Wade and LeBron James Defer to Mario Chalmers in Clutch

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    So this one is more of a low-light, but at the same time it's a reminder of how far LeBron James has come.

    Last season, he was passing up game-winning shots and not even touching the ball in game-tying situations.

    This kind of play wouldn't fly this year for LeBron, and that's why I included it in this slideshow.

Game 3: LeBron James Splits the Pacers' D for a Ferocious Slam

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    If you never watched the NBA before you'd think that David West was a weak defender based on the way LeBron abused him here.

    LeBron, as only he could do, forced his way through West and into the paint for a serious throwdown. That kind of play isn't easy, but LeBron makes it look like it is on a regular basis.

Game 3: LeBron Isn't a Fan of Having His Jersey Pulled, Especially by Granger

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    As this series moved forward it was almost like Danny Granger and his buddies were just looking for a reason to fight.

    Well, LeBron almost gave them one after he flung his elbow in disapproval of Granger pulling on his jersey from behind.

    The refs did a solid job of keeping this from escalating further. But Lance Stephenson, the then bench warmer, took this situation to the next level during the subsequent free throw for LeBron (as seen in the next slide).

Game 3: Lance Stephenson Gives LeBron James All the Motivation He Needs

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    After the non-elbow heard round the world from LeBron on Danny Granger, LeBron stepped to the free-throw line.

    Lance Stephenson, acting like a 12-year-old on the sideline, continued his antics once LeBron clanked the free throw with an apropos, albeit moronic, choke sign.

    This was all the motivation LeBron and his cronies needed to move forward and sweep the series. So I'm sure all the Heat fans would like to give a big "thank you" to Lance.

Game 4: LeBron Reminds Danny Granger That He's, Well, LeBron James

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    The Pacers were riding high in Game 4, thinking they could move to a commanding 3-1 lead over the Heatles.

    Then LeBron remembered that he was LeBron and he decided to take over Game 4 with 40 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists.

    Well, all of that production started off with this beauty of a dunk over Danny Granger.

Game 4: LeBron's Chase-Down Block on Leandro Barbosa

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    Oh LeBron, how great you are at humiliating opponents with massive chase-down blocks. Right, Leandro Barbosa?

    With the Heat clinging to a five-point lead in the most pivotal game of their 2011-12 campaign, LeBron reminded us all why he's one of the most versatile and defensively strong players on the entire planet. Heck, the entire galaxy for that matter.

Game 4: LeBron James Makes a Pass Only John Stockton and Magic Johnson Can Make

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    There aren't many starting point guards who have the court vision and passing skills to do what LeBron did here.

    LeBron threaded the needle past four Pacers' defenders to a wide-open Dwyane Wade for an easy layup. Oh, LeBron, you make the most difficult basketball plays look so simple.

Game 4: Danny Granger Just Can't Finish a Game Without Trying to Start a Fight

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    First it was with LeBron James, then Danny Granger took his fight-starting antics to another level by taking his talents to Dwyane Wade.

    After Wade and Roy Hibbert pushed off each other, Granger felt the need to get up in Wade's face and voice his opinion on the play.

    Granger never seemed to realize that these kinds of bone-headed plays just energize the Heat, as seen in Game 4.

Game 4: Udonis Haslem's Filthy Put-Back Slam and Wade's Defensive Brilliance

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    The Heat absolutely needed Game 4 in this series, and they certainly played like they did as well.

    Udonis Haslem threw down a filthy put-back slam off a Wade miss, and then Wade followed it up with a steal off the inbound and a behind-the-back dish to his partner in crime, LeBron James.

    Beautiful play and execution by the Heat.

Game 5: LeBron's One-Handed Laser Beam to Wade for the Slam

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    There aren't many NBA players, even professional athletes for that matter, who could throw the kind of pass LeBron did in Game 5.

    As he was falling out of bounds, he caught the pass from Chalmers with one hand, turned and rifled it to Wade on the complete other side of the court.

    I guess this is why the NBA's slogan is "Where Amazing Happens."

Game 5: Tyler Hansbrough's Cheap Shot on Dwyane Wade

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    This is the exact moment when the Indiana Pacers lost their cool in this series.

    Tyler Hansbrough went up with Wade, and came down on him with his arms first, leading to the next highlight in this slideshow which was a solid retaliation foul from the bigger, stronger Udonis Haslem.

Game 5: Udonis Haslem Rewards Tyler Hansbrough for His Hard Foul on Wade

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    If there was ever a time when Danny Granger needed to get up in someone's face it was when Haslem dropped a bomb on Tyler Hansbrough.

    After Hansbrough fouled Dwyane Wade rather hard, Haslem came to his rescue with a foul that honestly should've gotten him ejected.

Game 5: The LeBron and Wade Show

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    I could go on and on about all the Wade and LeBron highlights in Game 5 of this series, but I'd have to add 30 more slides.

    Game 5 was the Heat's stage for reminding everyone in the NBA just how dominant they are.

    Do yourself a favor and watch these full highlights, because it's a solid reminder of what kind of team the Heat are when they are firing on all cylinders.

Game 6: More Behind-the-Back Madness from Wade to LeBron

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    To be fair, Norris Cole got this highlight started. But once Dwyane Wade got the ball, he carried it from there.

    With LeBron trailing, which is never good news of you're a Pacers fan, Wade made a beautiful behind-the-back dish to LeBron for the slam.

Game 6: Dwyane Wade with the Dagger That Sealed the Pacers' Fate

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    Game 6 was all but over, and then Wade hit this and-one that truly sealed the Pacers' fate.

    En route to an impressive 41-point performance, Wade split the Pacers' defense and made a beautiful scoop layup that only he could make.

    Now that you've seen the top 20 moments from last year's Heat vs. Pacers showdown, get pumped up by checking out the series preview that can be found right here on Bleacher Report.