8:20 With Wade limping onto the court in the starting lineup, Marv Albert pulls the "Maybe this doesn't have the same significance as Willis Reed in the 1970 Finals but you can't help but think of Willis as we see Dwyane Wade trying to gut his way through this do-or-die Game 7 "
8:35 Miami jumps out to an early 9-4 lead on 3s from Damon Jones, Eddie Jones and Wade (which brings down the house). Larry Brown calls a quick timeout and contemplates sneaking out of the building like D.C. Dacey in the middle of the final game in "Fast Break."
8:45 Doug Collins remembers the time he was playing for Philadelphia and tried to play hurt in a big playoff game: "When the crowd gets behind you, the adrenaline takes over and you stop thinking about the injury altogether."
8:50 Shot of Darko laughing on the bench at one of Antonio McDyess' jokes.
8:55 With the Pistons behind 17-10, the first round of Detroit fans start making snide, "Man, it would have been nice if Ben Wallace showed up for this series" comments.
9:00 Wade goes coast-to-coast with a gorgeous finish he has nine points as the Heat lead by 13. The nation prepares for a Tuesday of sportswriters screaming: "Dwyane Wade is the next Michael Jordan!" on various TV and radio shows.
9:05 With Miami leading by 16 and shooting 73 percent, we see our first shot of Larry Brown making his "To Do List" for his Cleveland move. By the way, you're not going to believe this, but Alonzo Mourning just blocked someone's shot, then pumped his fist a few times and acted like an idiot.
9:07 Rasheed Wallace gets a technical for arguing a charge call from referee Dick Bavetta, who high-fives Jamie Foxx on his way back up the court.
9:10 Shot of Darko laughing on the bench at one of Carlos Arroyo's jokes.
9:15 With 5:00 to go in the first half, Miami's bench extends the lead to 19 as the crowd goes bonkers, followed by Mourning doing 37 different Hulk Hogan-like muscle flexes.
9:25 Wade gets knocked down hard on a drive to the basket, then takes about three minutes to get up. High drama. Doug Collins immediately remembers the time he was knocked down during the 1977 Finals by Maurice Lucas, adding, "I felt like I had been steamrolled by a freight train."
9:30 Our halftime score: Miami 56, Detroit 38. The Pistons are shooting 29 percent from the field and have a "if we lose this game, last year's championship still counts, right?" glow about them. Meanwhile, Craig Sager and Shaq have this exchange:
Sager: "Shaq, you're up by 18, what went right for you guys in that first half?"
Shaq: "Before I answer that, I want to send my respects out to Mark Felt, the guy who turned out to be Deep Throat and helped end Richard Nixon's presidency. Mr. Felt, we all appreciate what you did for this country. Thanks for the sacrifices you made."
Sager: "Thanks for those thoughts, Shaq."
Shaq: "I'm a huge Gatewater buff."