Miami Heat: Less Dwyane Wade now = more Dwyane Wade later

Jan 26, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade (3) takes a breather during the first half against the San Antonio Spurs at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat’s championship hopes could very well depend on the health of Dwyane Wade, who returned to the lineup for the first time in four games against the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday afternoon. The game resulted in a win for the Heat, but are they already on the losing end when it comes to Wade’s health? Check out the Heat’s latest Championship odds at Sportsbook prop bets for NBA Basketball.

In the Miami Heat’s last eight games, Dwyane Wade has played in only three of them. In those games, he’s scored a combined 24 points (eight points in each of them). Apart from those three, he has five DNP’s. It’s easy to say that Wade’s chronic knee problems are just getting worse. If nothing else, his “soreness” is getting harder to endure and to play through.

It’s easy to simply type that Wade is done. It’s easy to type that without Wade, the Miami Heat won’t thrive – or even have a shot at the three-peat. It’s easy to count-out Wade.

Perhaps too easy.

Before we bury Wade, let’s get a few things out in the open. There are many different reasons why the Heat technically won’t need full-time Wade right now. For one, the Eastern Conference is horrible. The Heat is eight full games ahead of the Atlanta Hawks for the two-seed. There’s no way the Hawks, or any other team for that matter, that is going to catch up to steal that second spot away from Miami.

Secondly, the Heat is not in a situation where they need Wade to be on the court to build any major type of chemistry. The Big Three have been together from four years now. They’ve built all the on-court chemistry they need. Wade doesn’t necessarily need to play every night, however, it wouldn’t hurt for him to get some run every so often – I hear ya.

With the exception of the last few games that Wade has played, when he does in fact suit up he’s been pretty good for the Heat. On the season, he’s averaging 18.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.7 assists – but he’s declining, right?

His shot chart doesn’t look that bloody and when he has those extra days of rest, Wade is awfully good at his patented mid-range jumper. Basically, the more days off he has the better he is – most of the time.

Shotchart_1390805509481

However, recently Wade has admitted to feeling more and more soreness with his knee. So much more that it cost him to miss four-straight games, before playing in Sunday’s game against the Spurs.

What the Heat has to ask themselves right now is how to play this whole Wade thing going forward. Do they continue to play Wade cautiously or do they begin to just play him whenever he could “get by”. Once the playoffs start, are they going to sit him some too? The only good thing about that is that there are rarely (if any) back-to-backs and that you usually get at least one day of rest, maybe two and sometimes even three days. That would play right into Wade’s hands.

At first, it was precaution. However, lately, it feels like more of an issue. Regardless, for the time being, less Wade now will equate to more, and better, Wade down the stretch. At least, that’s the way it’s beginning to look.

Wade’s last three games (played), where he’s averaging eight points per game, is not going to be the norm for him going forward. Heck, he played as the team’s “sixth man” on Sunday against the Spurs – that won’t happen all too often, at least not yet. This is no time to panic. This is all part of the process, as Heat coach Eric Spoelstra would say.

There are probably more questions about Wade’s health than the Heat is leading on, however, none of that matters. Not right now. Not because he misses a few regular season games here and there.

Let me know when he misses a playoff game. That’s when we’ll know it’s serious.

Topics: Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat, NBA

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