As the Miami Heat prepare to conclude consecutive games in the Big Apple, Dwyane Wade‘s status remains unknown for the Brooklyn Nets. Wade scored 23 points in the 102-92 loss to the New York Knicks Thursday night, and it has been routine for Erik Spoelstra to sit the star in half of a back-to-back. However, Wade did play in Miami’s most recent consecutive games last weekend, both of which were wins.
The defending champions will really need Wade against the Nets because both Shane Battier and Mario Chalmers are doubtful with injuries. The absences really hurt Miami against the Knicks, and it could come back to bite them again Friday night. Although we would all love to see Wade play and the Heat roster is looking weak, I would not be surprised if Spoelstra sits the star guard. As owner Micky Arison tweeted Thursday night after the loss, “Everyone CHILL its JAN 9th #LetsGoHeat.”
Arison is right; it is only January, and if Wade were to sit against Brooklyn it would not be the end of the world — kind of like the loss to the Knicks meant little to the reigning NBA Champions. I would actually advise Spoelstra to sit Wade since he just played a complete back-to-back less than a week ago. Of course Spoelstra wants to build chemistry in the rotation and keep Wade in shape, but he must be healthy come April, May and June.
If Wade does sit, Heat fans must prepare themselves for a possible loss to the Nets. It wouldn’t be a big deal if Miami did lose to Brooklyn tonight because they would be without Wade, Chalmers and Battier, all key players in the Heat rotation. The most important thing is Wade’s health down the stretch. The fate of the three-peat rests in the hands of Spoelstra and how he keeps Wade and the rest of the team healthy.