This was an hour after the crushing loss. LeBron James sat with in a jacket suit and collarless shirt with disappointment in his words, but no despair on his voice.

"Do you see how I look?" he said.

Calm. Fine. Thoughtful. Normal.

"Did you see how I looked after the [game-winning] shot in the first game?" he said of that moment where he calmly stood in the celebration. "I look the same now. I'm even-keeled. I knew that was just one game we won. And I know this is just one game."

Funny, this time of year, the best perspective can come from players. Panic always seeps in from the outside in any playoff series as fans' emotions distort and writers' words can swing wildly from one winning night to one lost one.

LeBron showed how it's done, if you want to keep climbing this time of year. He's paid to see the cup 96 percent full, of course.

Disappointment, sure.

"My turnovers hurt more than anything," he said.

Questions, absolutely.

"One thing that sticks out in my head — a couple of plays," LeBron said. "I think we were up four, got a [defensive] stop. [Chris Bosh] got a good look at a three. We missed it. Then Lance Stephenson hit a three. If [Bosh] makes that, it may be a different ball game."

But perspective, most of all.

"The best thing about it, this isn't college," he said. "It's not one loss and you're done. I have another opportunity to get better in Game 3, and if I'm put in that position again, I'll be able to learn from it."

Indiana is a strong, tough, improved team from a year ago. But let's go back a year for a moment. After two games, the Heat weren't just even in the series at a game apiece. They were showing signs of coming apart.

Three-point shooting? They were 1 of 22.

Rebounds? They were out-rebounded by 18.

Bosh was hurt, too. And that wasn't even the crisis point. In Game 3, they suffered a 19-point loss during which Dwyane Wade and Erik Spoelstra got in a sideline shouting match. The season was over right?

"This makes me feel alive," Shane Battier said. "Things have been going pretty smoothly hear for the last few months. To get punched in the nose like this, really punched in the nose, makes you see what it's all about."

Battier, of course, needs to start making some shots like he did this season. Ray Allen needs to make his free throws like he has all year. Bosh needs to play one of Indiana's big man — David West or Roy Hibbert — to a stalemate, at a minimum.

Wade? Too passive.

The most revealing sign of the Heat's trouble was Spoelstra twinning Bosh with Chris Andersen for the first time. He decided to match Indiana's size. He can't play Battier if he isn't making his shot, his action said.

"Not acceptable," Battier said of the Heat's play.