Us Against the World takes a singular focus.
Referee Scott Foster gestured toward Dwyane Wade with his right index finger midway through the third quarter.
His meaning could not have been more plain: "That's enough."
Wade, already assessed a technical foul in the first half, was again making it clear via his body language that he did not agree with the foul call. He and LeBron James were guilty of this repeatedly.
Comic Dane Cook talks about the "Mumbles and Grumbles", these are the "Glares and Stares". This excessive displeasure will only come back to haunt the Heat. At some point this season, they will run into an official who isn't as patient. What happens when Joey Crawford forgets that Wade or LeBron already has one T?
I love the Heat's "Us Against the World" mentality, but they must be more mature about it. They're not going to get every call, calls will be missed and calls will be wrong. They have to play above the officiating if they want to be champions.
Not lost on this team are the ups-and-downs and trial-by-fire nature of a long regular season full of adjustments and expectations. Miami has won each of its last nine games by double figures. With its competition waning at times, the Heat has begun to look for additional challenges or perceived slights to keep its fire raging.
Wade in particular has borrowed a page out of Michael Jordan's motivation manual. Call it the game within the game. I'm calling it "Nothing Fights".
Jordan was the king of taking a perceived slight and turning it into a 40 point night. Wade has taken to this habit of late, whether it be a hard foul, a no-call or falling behind to an inferior team.
“You try to play mind games with yourself,” Wade said after Saturday's 104-83 win in Sacramento. “Whatever way you can get yourself going you do it. Today it was to look frustrated obviously. It worked.”