BOSTON – Dwyane Wade(notes) trudged off the court late Tuesday, his Miami Heat trailing the Boston Celtics by 33 points and more than six minutes still remaining in the game. The scene was unmistakably clear: If Wade wants help – if he hopes to build these Heat into anything close to resembling a contender – it will have to wait until the summer.
Wade scored 29 points, but, yes, this was mostly a game of one-on-five. The Heat's lone All-Star was no match for the Celtics, even with Kevin Garnett(notes) suspended. The Celtics rolled to a 106-77 victory to take a 2-0 lead in the first-round series and this was the message they sent: Wade might be one of the three best players in the game and the best player in this series, but even he can't beat Boston by himself.
''We don't win unless everyone is playing well,'' Wade said. ''I don't care if I score 50, we don't win the ball game. It takes more that that to beat this team. I got confidence in my guys. They struggled tonight.''
Garnett was likely laughing while seated on the couch at his home. So much was made of his suspension for elbowing Quentin Richardson(notes) in the jaw in Game 1, but neither Richardson nor anyone else with the Heat made Garnett pay for his actions. Wade made 11 of his 18 shots, but the rest of the Heat combined to miss 40 of their 58 attempts.
The Celtics have won all five of their meetings with the Heat this season, including two games in which they didn't have Garnett. Wade has averaged 31.2 points in those five games, but it hasn't mattered much.
''One player can't win it,'' Wade said. ''We need everyone who comes in to be positive and have a positive input. We've got a couple guys who are struggling right now. As we always do as a team we're going to stick together. That's the only reason we're here now, the only reason we have success.''
After a narrow loss in Game 1 in which the Heat led at halftime, the Celtics ran away from Miami in the second quarter of Game 2. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra called the loss ''very embarrassing.''
''The first game I felt we gave it away,'' Wade said. ''The second game, they took it. They wanted it more than us. They came out and took it. They were in control from the second quarter on. Give them credit.''
The Heat seemingly spent as much of the game finger-pointing as they did trying to beat the Celtics.
''Mental breakdown,'' Heat forward Michael Beasley(notes) tried to explain. ''We let our missed shots and our missed rotations just take us out of the game mentally. We were almost fighting each other sometimes, and anytime you get a team talking to each other like that and just out of it mentally, these types of games will happen.''
Said Wade: ''You can't point too many fingers. You learn from it and you move on. In this league you can't hold grudges because we all mess up. We all aren't perfect. It's just a time where frustration sets in. There is not going to be pats on the back when you're losing by 30.''
Beasley's struggles have exposed him to further criticism. He was the No. 2 pick in the 2008 draft, selected over O.J. Mayo(notes), Russell Westbrook(notes), Brook Lopez(notes) and Kevin Love(notes). It was no secret around the league that Wade would have preferred the Heat take Mayo.
Beasley averaged 14.8 points, second-best on the team, this season, but scored just six points in Game 1. He predicted a far better performance for himself in Game 2.
''I'm going to be good,'' Beasley. ''I believe that in my heart. I work for it. I strive for it hour after hour, night in and night out.''
Beasley's wishes didn't come to fruition. He scored 13 points in Game 2 and didn't get to the free-throw line. Afterward, Wade made clear his patience for Beasley's mistakes is running out.
''I'm tired of answering questions about Beas not doing it,'' Wade said. ''He has to continue to play. It's going to click one day. Hopefully, it's Game 3. He has the ability to really make us a tough team to play. It's on Michael.''
Wade seemingly has every excuse to leave Miami except for one very big one: The Heat have positioned themselves to be major players in this summer's free-agent market. If Wade decides to stay, help should be coming in three months.
With next season's salary cap expected to exceed $56 million, higher than initially thought, the Heat are expected to have enough money to re-sign Wade, add another maximum-level free agent and perhaps one more talented player.
''We'll wait until the season is over,'' said Wade's agent, Henry Thomas. ''Nothing has changed. We'll evaluate it when it's over.''
Wade has intimated of late that he plans to stay in Miami. With so much cap room, the Heat appear to have a bright future.
But if they get swept? If the Celtics continue to overwhelm them? If the Heat can't provide Wade with enough help?
Wade knows this much: Once this summer arrives, he'll have options.