On any given night in the NBA, winning comes down to one thing - Energy. Over the course of the season, there are nights where one team is playing it's 4th game in 4 cities in 5 nights. Predictably, these teams tend to get killed.
In David Stern's infinite wisdom, such scheduling irregularities don't happen often in the playoffs. However, when the Heat finish off the Nets rather quickly, and the Pistons have to go 7 to beat Lebron, it's hardly surprising that the Heat had more in the tank tonight. And, in a way, I think Wade's foul trouble (btw, if he's supposed to get 'star' calls, shouldn't Lindsay Hunter not be able to fling his chest sideways, create contact, and still draw offensive fouls? Just asking.) played into the dynamic. Detroit had to expend so much energy to make the game close into the fourth that when Wade came back into the game, fresh, he simply ran circles around them.
I have to say, Wade's game is a bit tougher for Detroit to handle than Lebron's - he might have the nth degree of explosiveness, but he is more controlled in his ability to rise up and hit 18-20 footers with ease. Also, there is Shaq, which helps - especially when he has his nimble shoes on. And when Payton and Walker are feeling frisky, as they were today, they can't guard Wade with 2.5 players and a coach like they did to LBJ.
As to Detroit, what happened to their offense? Where is the movement? Why is Rip Hamilton just standing in the corner instead of running his man ragged? Do you not either want to tire Wade out, or force Payton/Williams to guard somebody? The difference in their efficiency between possessions where they ran static isolations and where they had what Hubie B. likes to call "your continuity game" was dramatic. Pay attention, here Flipnosis.
That said, I can't see Miami having the energy edge in game 2, so if Detroit gets there
stuff together, they win comfortably on Thursday.