Lingering knee soreness is the main reason Dwyane Wade missed 18 games before Monday night's tilt against the visiting Portland Trail Blazers.
Blame No. 19 on a new ailment: ankle soreness.
Coach Erik Spoelstra revealed Monday that Wade “tweaked” his ankle at Boston last Wednesday, and coupled with that lingering knee soreness, the Heat decided it was best to give their second-leading scorer yet another night off.
“We took him through the whole protocol and we felt that it was the best decision right now,” said Spoelstra, who added that Wade went through an afternoon workout and “was able to do a little bit” during the team's shootaround.
“It is getting better. We'll see how he feels [Tuesday].”
Wade was rested during Saturday's loss at New Orleans per the team’s policy of sitting him when the Heat plays on back-to-back nights.
The Heat came into Monday's game 11-7 this season with Wade sidelined. With the playoffs approaching, the last thing the Heat wants is for Wade to have another hurdle to overcome.
A couple of days after he and LeBron James erupted about the team’s recent poor play — citing a lack of passion and communication in the Heat locker room following another uninspired loss in New Orleans — forward Chris Bosh sounded a little less frustrated Monday morning.
Maybe his 30th birthday bash on Sunday at Marlins Park — featuring carnival games, dunk tanks and a performance by Bone Thugs 'N Harmony — had something to do with it.
Bosh and his teammates took in the night together, taking turns flinging baseballs and dunking their coaches. A video on Instagram shows Wade dunking Spoelstra. The party, organized by Bosh’s wife Adrienne, was followed up with an after party at E11even Miami.
“It's always great to have something like that in the middle of the season no matter whether you're winning or losing. It definitely helps,” said James, who said on Saturday the excuses for losing have to stop. “If you're losing it gets your mind off of it a little bit. It was an unbelievable event and I was proud to be a part of it for sure.”
Could Bosh's birthday bash help smooth things over for the struggling Heat much the same way last year’s Harlem Shake music video seemed to bring them together right before the playoffs?
“I hope so,” Bosh said. “As a group and a unit we’re going to stick together through tough times and good times. We’re going to stay even no matter what happens. We just have to put it together on the court. We know it’s going to happen. We just have to make sure we play with a little urgency and force the issue a little bit defensively.”
What does a little urgency mean to Bosh?
“We need to be playing good now,” Bosh answered. “Pretty much that’s an urgent situation — my guy cannot score.
“I’m just eager to play good basketball again because we’re not at that level right now. Like I said, I know what we’re capable of. I just want to see that from ourselves just to see if we can do it again. It’s difficult with all these other things flying around. But to ourselves, we just need to prove we can still play at a high level together and we’re the team to beat for a championship.”
This and that
• James said he received “extensive treatment on his right ankle the last couple days” after tweaking it in Saturday's loss. James has been dealing with a sore back for several weeks.
“It's been better,” James said. “You guys know that's going to be the answer to all my injuries. It's been better. I'm active. I'm on the floor. It's my obligation to make plays for our team to win.”
• James will meet with NBA commissioner Adam Silver at the end of the season to discuss his unhappiness with having to wear a sleeved jersey earlier this season. Silver has said if enough players complain the league will consider eliminating the sleeves. James was among several players who said the sleeves restrict their shooting. The NBA disagrees and says shooting percentages suggest otherwise.
“I'm with whatever benefits the NBA,” James said. “I'm a part of the NBA. I'm a part of the league. If it benefits us as a whole I'm all for it.”