As the Miami Heat rolled into Michigan to take on the Detroit Pistons, Dwyane Wade watched from the sideline and missed his sixth game of the season. It was the second time these two teams faced off in the last week, and the third game of a four game road trip for Miami.
It comes as no surprise that Wade sat after he played last night against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Erik Spoelstra has made it routine to sit the star guard in part of back-to-backs, because his knees are still a bit sore and not quite 100 percent.
It’s a good move by Spoelstra to sit Wade in these situations and not push him too hard. It is more important that he is healthy and ready for the postseason. However, Miami has shown signs of weakness without the entire cast of the “Big 3.” In Wade’s absence, the Heat are 2-3, including losses to the Philadelphia 76ers and the Pistons.
Of course Miami is better off with Wade on the court, but they really can’t afford to take the risk here. With the chronic knee issues of “Flash,” a three-peat on the line, and 2014 free agency in the back of everyone’s mind, there is no sense of urgency to push Wade and make him play.
Miami also has a highly anticipated matchup with the NBA leading Indiana Pacers on Tuesday; three games on the road in four nights can take a toll on the mind and body. I’m sure Spoelstra wants Wade at 110 percent for the game in Indiana, and I am positive that Wade wants to redeem his Eastern Conference Finals performance.