SAN ANTONIO -- Two days after his eruption in Game 4 of the NBA Finals, Dwyane Wade said it was good to have the old D-Wade back, and a Spurs player admitted that not many anticipated his 32-point breakout.
“It was good to see myself back on the floor again,” Wade said of his first 30-point game since March 4. “I compare that to the Dwyane Wade my teammates and the organization and Miami fans and fans around the world have become accustomed to, and I had become accustomed to.”
Spurs guard Danny Green, intending no disrespect, said “I don’t think many people expected that” because “he has been favoring [his injured] knee” and also because of the taxing nature of the Indiana series.
“He was cutting, slashing, Euro-stepping, finishing at the rim,” Green said.
Wade said his knee feels better in this series than it did against Indiana. He said he asked Spoelstra to make sure he wasn’t on the bench too long so that his knee wouldn’t stiffen, and Spoelstra accommodated.
In an interview scheduled to air Sunday night on NBA TV, Wade told Rachel Nichols that it’s difficult playing the Spurs because San Antonio players are “too nice.”
He told NBA TV he must manufacture aggression that is already present when he plays an Eastern Conference rival. He said the Spurs don’t trash-talk, and several Spurs players said the Heat also has kept quiet during games.
Meanwhile, Chris Bosh said when the Big Three is playing like it did Thursday, “we’re unstoppable. When Dwyane plays like that, his charisma, everyone feeds off it. You get an emotional lift from some guys because you see the energy they’re bringing, and it inspires you to bring more.
“It kind of uplifts you a little bit. You don’t think about small things like getting tired. You just think about the job you’re supposed to do.”
This and that
Bosh said members of his family give him considerable feedback on his performance and sometimes implore him to be more aggressive.
“Cousins, uncles, aunts — my family is rough,” he said. “They push me. They’re looking for more. ‘You should have done [this].’… My wife asks me [something]. I’m like: ‘I just got done doing media.’ ”
• Not only did LeBron James, Wade and Bosh combine for 75 points in Game 4, but Spoelstra said they graded out best defensively among Heat players.
He said that happened one other time this postseason: the Game 7 win against Indiana in the Eastern Conference Finals.
“We don’t see it as a coincidence,” Spoelstra said. “They have to be two-way players for us to win.”
Bosh “has to probably cover the most ground for us defensively” and “has the most responsibility,” Spoelstra said, adding the Spurs in Game 4 ran 70 pick-and-rolls that Bosh had a role in defending.
• Odd to hear Spoelstra use the words “idiot” and “disgusting” in the same news conference.
Of his decision in Game 4 to leave Wade in the game briefly after he picked up his fourth foul in the third quarter — and then reinserting him with 2:35 left in the third — Spoelstra said: “It’s one of those situations you can look like an idiot for doing it. But he was in such a great rhythm, we didn’t want to break up that rhythm.”
Spoelstra also said the “way we competed” in the Game 3 blowout loss was “disgusting” compared to Game 4.
• Chris Andersen declined to speak to reporters Saturday, two days after he was listed as a did-not-play/coach’s decision for the first time in the playoffs. With Mike Miller starting, Spoelstra used former starter Udonis Haslem as his only natural power rotation player off the bench Thursday.
• After attempting (and missing) just one shot in 21 scoreless minutes in Game 4, Miller said Saturday: “If I get shots next time, I’m going to shoot. Right now, our role is to open up the floor.”
• Wade said of the lineup change: “Whenever Mike is on the court, it’s a plus for us. But I don’t think that had anything to do with the reason we played better.”