Twenty-seven-game win streak.
Top-seeded team in the NBA.
Expectations of an easy romp to a second straight championship.
All that is forgotten now.
It's about doing what their core could not do in 2011, after returning to Miami with a 3-2 deficit against the Dallas Mavericks: finding their game in time to extend the series.
How does Dwyane Wade see the situation?
"We're going to see if we're a better ballclub and if we're better prepared for this moment," he said. "Everything happens for a reason. And this is not a bad reason at all, to go home for Game 6 on your home floor."
Yet there are reasons for concern. Miami hasn't often resembled the regular-season juggernaut that had people talking about a historic run. Some of that's been due to the better competition, and the Spurs have certainly proven a worthy challenge.
Some of that's squarely on the Heat.
So what needs to happen now to get the series to seven?
(All quotes for this piece were collected through the course of the author's coverage of the Miami Heat for the Palm Beach Post.)