Dwyane Wade was a last minute scratch from the lineup Monday night as the Miami Heat defeated the Atlanta Hawks in their preseason opener. Wade and Coach Erik Spoelstra wanted to play it safe as the All-Star continues to recuperate his aging knees.
Wade is expected to make his preseason debut Thursday night as Miami will take on the Detroit Pistons at the Palace of Auburn Hills. It is the first time we will get to see “Flash” play since undergoing OssaTron shock treatment this summer.
Spoelstra, Wade, and teammates say that this is the healthiest the Heat guard has been in years, but there is no rush or sense of urgency for his return.
There is a chance that Wade is removed from the lineup tomorrow night, but as of now he will play and show the world how healthy his knees really are.
Based on the assumption that Wade does play, I would not expect much from him. It is only the preseason and there is no need to take a risk. Here is what we should see out of the superstar against Detroit.
Wade will play no more than 20 minutes and even if he is feeling good, Spoelstra will not want to overexert “Flash”. He will have around 10 points with a few assists and rebounds. Wade will want to get a feel for the game, but he won’t become immersed in it.
If he does play against the Pistons, Wade would most likely sit Friday night against the Charlotte Bobcats. I would be incredibly surprised if he played back-to-back preseason games.
Tomorrow night will be the beginning of a slow re-acclimation process for Wade. The organization wants to test his knees and also make sure they hold up. Spoelstra and Wade both have the bigger picture in mind and know that April is more important than October.