NEW YORK -- Dwyane Wade was a late scratch from Friday night’s game against Brooklyn after reporting soreness in his knee to the Heat’s training staff.
Wade, coach Erik Spoelstra and the Heat’s training staff made the decision to rest Wade as a precaution rather than let him play five games in seven nights.
Wade has now missed nine games this season to rest his knees, but the game against the Nets was Wade’s first game of inactivity since the Heat’s loss to Sacramento on Dec. 27.
“He’s getting stronger and healthier as the season goes on,” Spoelstra said.
Wade played a back-to-back set last weekend but didn’t want to push his knees on consecutive nights after playing 39 minutes against the New York Knicks on Thursday. Wade went 11 of 15 from the field and had 23 points at Madison Square Garden, but he missed all six of his free-throw attempts in the loss.
“I just played a lot of minutes,” Wade said. “It’s a progression. I decided not to [Friday] because of the soreness.”
Wade clearly was frustrated by having to sit out.
The marquee game against the Nets was a rematch of the Heat’s early season loss in Brooklyn, and it was also the league’s “nickname jersey” game. Wade’s jersey featured the nickname “D.Wade.”
“Luckily, I don’t live my life on what the outside world thinks, so I’m going to continue to be smart about the situation, and I understand the bigger picture,” Wade said. “That’s my decision to make and my training staff, so we’ll continue to make it.”
Wade had OssaTron shockwave treatment on his knee this summer to promote healing, but one of the side effects of the therapy is tendinitis after physical activity.
Wade’s knee is expected to be fully healthy for the playoffs.
Shane Battier and Mario Chalmers also sat out for the Heat, which started Norris Cole, Ray Allen, LeBron James, Rashard Lewis and Chris Bosh.
Battier missed his fifth game in a row with a strained leg muscle, and Chalmers sat out his third consecutive game with pain in his Achilles tendon.
“Both feel like they can play, but we feel like it’s better to push it to maybe the next game,” Spoelstra said. “You have to be very judicious on the process of healing. They’re both dealing with muscle issues, and with the Achilles you want to be very careful with those and make sure you get the strength and mobility back.”
ON WADE’s status
James, on preparing for games when he never really knows if Wade is going to play:
“It’s always a game-time decision for the most part, so in my mind, I go into the game or I go into that day thinking he’s going to be out there, and when I get the news from [Spoelstra] or I get the news from the training staff that he’s not playing, I have to understand that my responsibility changes a little bit.
“It definitely changes, but it’s always great when he’s in the lineup. I can go back to my role.”