The Miami Heat opened the preseason tonight against Southeast division foe the Atlanta Hawks. Dwyane Wade was scheduled to start and Coach Erik Spoelstra had the star in the lineup until a last second change.
Don’t worry Heat fans and band-wagoners, “Flash” has not suffered any injuries or setbacks, he just wanted to play it safe. “I just think it’s smarter that in consecutive days of going so hard, just be smart today, rest a little bit, let my legs recover.” said Wade.
The eight-time NBA All-Star has entered this year’s training camp and preseason the healthiest he has been in years and is still recovering from offseason knee treatments. The preseason is the least of Miami’s and Wade’s concerns as they prepare for a shot at a three-peat.
“I want to stay healthy for the majority of the season and the playoffs,” said Wade.” I got a bigger picture in mind.”
That is exactly the attitude that he needs to take toward these exhibition games and the regular season. It is a brutal 82-game schedule and Wade will need to be at his best for the playoffs.
It is a great sign for the Heat that Spoelstra and Wade are on the same page. There is no rush and no need to play Wade during the early parts of the preseason or … at all. The preseason implies little when it comes to strengths and weaknesses and we always see at least one star player get hurt before opening night. No need to risk Wade and his health at the beginning of October.
Here is the only fact that needs to be taken away from this decision: Spoelstra and Wade understand the importance and severity of this season to their individual legacies and the team’s legacy, no need to push the envelope now.