Heat Notebook

Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade comfortable with his role

 

a1fernandez@MiamiHerald.com

Even after off-season knee surgery, Dwyane Wade didn’t let doubts about how much productivity he had left bother him.

With LeBron James putting up historic numbers seemingly each month this season, Wade’s ability to play better without the basketball has helped the Heat maintain itself far ahead of the rest of the field in the Eastern Conference and put together a franchise-record winning streak.

During the Heat’s winning streak, Wade has scored 20 points or more in 14 of 16 wins entering Friday. He has scored 30 or more points five times.

“It’s kind of simple: You either figure out or you don’t,” Wade said. “Once I realized that the ball was going to be out of my hands and I’d have it a lot less than I was used to, I had to find a way to be productive and effective the way that would be comfortable for me and better for the team.”

Wade is having his most efficient shooting season of his career.

Wade entered Friday’s game shooting a career-best 52.2 percent and averaging 21.7 points and 5.0 assists per game. He shot 61.9 percent over the Heat’s seven previous games and has been especially clutch late in games, shooting 61 percent in the fourth quarter since the start of February.

Wade also extended his streak of games with at least one steal to 21 in a row on Friday.

“There are moments that you never want to be doubted,” Wade said. “For the most part, I go through a point like that every year the past few years. I understand that for me when I’m healthy, there’s not much you can say because I can affect games in many different ways.

“My role is just different now. I ask myself would I rather do great things on a bad team and average 27 points per game or average 22 and be on one of the best teams.”

At 31, Wade has been able to evolve his game without sacrificing his aggressive style that made him one of the most explosive players in the league early in his career.

“What’s best for the team is me and LeBron attacking,” Wade said. “I had to figure out what was best. Playing in the 2008 Olympics prepared me to play off the ball better. I’m an attacker by nature, and I’m going to be until the day they say it’s time for me to get out of here. One day I’ll shoot more threes and become more that type of player, but it’s not time for that yet.”

ALWAYS READY

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said the reason Wade left Wednesday’s game briefly against the Magic was because “his toenail came off.”

Wade was replaced in the lineup for four minutes by guard Mike Miller, who had not played since Feb. 8.

“LeBron was out and Dwyane had to go to the locker room, so I went with Mike because that group was more familiar playing together,” Spoelstra said. “I didn’t know how long [Wade] would be out at the time. It hasn’t been easy for guys [like Miller not playing], but they’ve been extremely professional. Sometimes when you have so many veteran players, it has the potential to be a distraction. Our guys understand what we are playing for.”

HEATED SERIES

Being a Duke graduate, Shane Battier has been following the University of Miami men’s basketball team’s rise to national prominence this season.

Battier said he knew his alma mater would be ready to even the score as it did recently when Duke beat the Hurricanes in the two schools’ second meeting of the season.

“I knew coach K [Mike Krzyzewski] would have those guys ready to play,” Battier said. “A lot of people were confident in having a repeat of how Miami played the first game, but I knew it wouldn’t happen.

Battier, however, praised the Canes and believes the teams are destined for a third showdown in the upcoming ACC tournament.

“The Canes are definitely good, there’s no doubt and what they’ve done has been great for the city,” Battier said. “They gave my guys a hard time in Coral Gables, but we got them back at Cameron. The Canes are definitely good and have a shot at the Final Four this season.”

Read more Miami Heat stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
 <span class="cutline_leadin">An easier time:</span> Chris Bosh, left, and his Heat teammates rejoice after winning the second game of last season’s first-round playoff series against the Bucks. They said the Bobcats are a bigger test.

    Series preview

    Miami Heat expects dogfight from Bobcats

    Even if the Heat appears to be in a different class than the Bobcats, the players aren’t preparing as though they are

  •  
MIami Heat’s LeBron James shoots over Charlotte Bobcats’ Bismack Biyombo in the second quarter during the Miami Heat's game against the Charlotte Bobcats at AmericanAirlines Arena on Monday, March 3, 2014.

    Game 1: Miami Heat vs. Charlotte Bobcats

    Live updates: Miami Heat vs. Charlotte Bobcats, Game 1

    Read live updates from sports writers, columnists and photographers from the Miami Herald and Charlotte Observer at Game 1 of the Miami Heat's NBA Playoff series against the Charlotte Bobcats.

  •  
Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade slips past Charlotte Bobcats' Chris Douglas-Roberts for a basket in the second quarter of Game 1 between the Heat and Bobcats at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Florida, April 20, 2013.

    Game 1 | Heat 99, Bobcats 88

    Miami Heat wins Game 1 against Charlotte Bobcats

    Throughout the final two weeks of the season and now into the playoffs, AmericanAirlines Arena has been playing tribute videos of Heat players during timeouts.

Get your Miami Heat Fan Gear!

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category