Dwyane Wade is not "fine," nor is he "done." And his story points out our inability as a sports society to keep perspective as great players get older.

Maybe it's because Kobe Bryant, right up until that Achilles' tendon betrayed him in April and Tim Duncan (still alive this season for his fifth championship ring), have battled Father Time so well. Maybe it's simply because we leap upon any image of weakness at this level of the playoffs. But the result has been a cavalcade of mockery and dismissal of Wade based on his struggles in these Eastern Conference finals.

Wade is averaging 15 points, five rebounds and six assists while shooting 47 percent vs. the Pacers. Those aren't Dwyane Wade-Hall-of-Fame-MVP-candidate numbers. They're not max-contract numbers. But he is producing and not exactly going J.R. Smith out there.

You can tell Wade is older, the knee is bothering him and that his impact is far less than that scoring line indicates.

What you can't tell is that it means anything as it pertains to Game 6 (or 7, or should the Heat advance, the Finals).

Last year, in Game 3 vs. the Pacers in the Eastern Conference semifinals, Wade scored 5 points and made only 2 of 13 shots, adding five rebounds and an assist. In the next three games, he scored 30, 28 and 41 points, as the Heat closed out the Pacers in six. The lesson?

Wade could vanish into the mist and struggle for the Heat for the next (potentially) nine games. He could erupt for 40 points. He could become more of a distributor, could crash the boards, could attack the passing lanes. Or he could seem completely powerless.