Dwyane Wade came up big as the Miami Heat closed out the Chicago Bulls in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals Wednesday evening. Despite being bothered by his knee injury, Wade came through when it mattered most and helped the NBA champions advance.
Wade has gotten a lot of “are you alright?”-type of questions lately, and rightfully so. He missed some late regular season games, sat out a game against the Milwaukee Bucks in the playoffs, and was a game-time decision for yesterday’s contest.
In the second half, Wade went to the locker room and many probably thought “here we go again”. However, Dwyane only wanted to re-tape his knee, and came back out to play. He looked quicker than he had all evening, connecting on a couple of floaters, blocking a shot and getting up high for a putback dunk. Wade gave Miami the boost they needed in order to erase the deficit.
After the first quarter, the game looked like it was getting out of hand for the Bulls, which would have spared Wade of his heroics. Instead, he had to play and his 18 points, six assists and five rebounds made all the difference.
Before battling for Eastern Conference supremacy, the Heat will have another layoff as they await their next opponents. Wade looked great in Game 5, but his overall performance in these playoffs has been underwhelming. His play will depend on how his bruised knee feels, which can change on a daily basis.
Considering his injury, he will take all the rest he can get at this point, and Miami fans hope that his knee will hold up.
Vytis is a Miami Heat and NBA columnist for RantSports. You can follow him on Twitter here: @VytisLasaitis