It's getting chippy in the Southeast. The Heat are mad at Josh Smith for his dunk attempt. They are mad at Mario West for his celebration for stopping Wade. They are mad at how physical the Hawks have been, especially Zaza.
But you know what this all reeks of? Desperation. It's a playoff series. The Heat are one loss away from being eliminated. Do they really need to get mad at the Hawks in order to summon the motivation to put up a fight in this series? Wade and Erik Spoelstra realize that half of their team is ready to pack it in and go on vacation, and they have to conjure up some false beef with the Hawks in order to keep the rest of the Heat motivated. And it might work for this game...
The Heat are going to try and come out tonight like a bat out of hell. This is especially true since the Hawks will be missing both Al Horford and Marvin Williams, and Solomon Jones (god help us) will be starting.
But this game comes down to two factors. First, and most importantly, is how Wade's back feels. If he is still tentative and refuses to drive the lane, like he has been the last two games, then the Heat do not stand a chance. If he can loosen up his back and is hitting the lane like he was in the first two games, then the second factor will come into play. Second, is whether the rest of the Heat show up for Game 6. The Heat won Games 2 and 3 not only because Wade was clicking, but because his teammates were hitting shots.
Due to the evidence from the second half of Game 5, I'm going to say that Wade does get loosened up for Game 6 and goes off at home. Similarly, the rest of the Heat find inspiration from the home crowd, grows a collective backbone, and actually helps out Wade. But the Hawks will scratch and claw the whole way and make this the first game decided by single digits.
Hawks 86, Heat 94.