The Miami Heat have just announced that Dwyane Wade will be sitting out tonight against the Los Angeles Lakers. This will be the fourth consecutive game Wade has missed and his 12th missed game of the season. The Heat are now 6-6 on the season when Wade sits which isn’t a great percentage. Being able to only win 50 percent of your games when your second best player is on the bench isn’t a recipe for success, especially during the grueling stretch run of the NBA Playoffs.
With such uneven play from the rest of the Heat in Wade’s absence, many are wondering if these extended “rests” from Wade are going hurt the defending champs in the long run. The answer is a resounding no. The Heat’s coaching and training staff made it clear from the beginning of the regular season that health and longevity with each and every player on the roster was the utmost priority, especially concerning Wade’s knees. The fact that the Heat probably won’t snatch the top seed in the East is of no concern to them. The Heat’s roster truly believes it can win a Game 7 anywhere, regardless of home-court advantage. The Heat have lost nine of their 12 games this season to teams well below .500, which is a testament more to the lack of motivation and effort from the Heat during these games than the lack of talent out in the East (where most of those sub .500 losses came from).
These losses won’t mean a thing come playoff time where the Heat will hopefully have a completely healthy roster heading into the playoffs for the first time since the Big Three formed in Miami. Otherwise, the strict maintenance and minutes restriction placed on Wade by the training staff will be all for nothing.