The Miami Heat and head coach Erik Spoelstra have strongly urged the importance of taking it slow with Dwyane Wade and his troublesome knees. From the poor performances to the stretches of absences, Spoelstra has continually said there is no concern with Wade and his health, resorting to the old favorite, “it is the playoffs that matter.”
Well, with the month of March set to begin this weekend, and the NBA playoffs about a month and a half away. It’s time for Wade and Spoelstra to get real with not only themselves, but the media. Will we see consistent play out of D-Wade? Is the star guard 100 percent? Will his knees hold up for all of the postseason? These are all questions that we want answered, but frankly, I don’t think Wade or Spoelstra have the answers.
Right now, forget what happened before the All-Star Break; forget about all the games Wade has missed and all his subpar performances. For Miami and Wade, the only thing that matters right now is the rest of the season. The next 20 or-so games will be a major test to the Heat rotation and to Wade’s knees.
So far, Wade has showed promise since the Break, averaging 20 points, 6.6 rebounds and eight assists in three games, including two double-doubles. Miami is 3-0 in those games and is currently enjoying a five-game win streak. I would like to believe that these statistics will continue, but the Heat have had a lot of time off in between games. The real test will be next week where the defending champs have five games in eight days.
Wade and Spoelstra have been able to dodge the injury questions with “it’s a maintenance program” or “he is still recovering from the shock treatment”, but with the season quickly approaching its conclusion excuses will no longer cut it. Either Wade will be healthy or he won’t be, and it could mean the difference in a third-straight championship or just a fourth-straight Finals appearance.
Shane Phillips is an NBA Writer for RantSports.com. Follow Shane on Twitter @ShaneRantSports, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also email Shane at ShaneRantNBA@gmail.com.