Heat notebook

Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade rested, healthy for playoffs

Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade shoots a free throw before a game against the New York Knicks at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on April 6, 2014. Wade did not play in the game.
Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade shoots a free throw before a game against the New York Knicks at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on April 6, 2014. Wade did not play in the game.
David Santiago / Staff photo
WEB VOTE Which NBA Eastern Conference playoff series could likely result in an upset?


Dwyane Wade ended up sitting out 28 games this season after missing a combined 36 in the first three seasons with LeBron James as a teammate. But Wade enters these playoffs in a much better place, from a health perspective, than last year, when a knee injury lingered throughout the postseason.

This time around, he said the knee is “doing very well.” And he also has recovered from the hamstring injury that sidelined him for nine games before he returned for the final three.

“It’s a lot better than going into it last year,” Wade said. “Hopefully, I’ll have a better first round health wise than I did first round versus the Bucks last year, when I had to miss [Game 4] in Milwaukee. I look forward to Game 1 and hopefully not having any setbacks.”

Coach Erik Spoelstra said he is “encouraged” about Wade’s health: “He feels strong. He still has to work on the game conditioning, but that will have to happen on the fly in the playoffs.”

Wade played 23, 18 and 23 minutes in the three games over the final five days of the season. He does not worry about fatigue, though he hasn’t played 30 minutes since logging 31 on March 26 in Indiana.

“We’re well-conditioned athletes,” he said. “You get tired, you can come out for two minutes and go back in.

“These were a good three games for me. I pushed myself to do things I needed to do. I’m happy going into the postseason.”

Though he has played only one game with James in the past three weeks, Wade said: “I’m not worried about continuity with him at all. The biggest thing is we both know what we need to do. We played together for four years. That’s enough continuity right there.”

Wade said Thursday “will be the last day anybody can bother me. Sorry. You lock in for roughly two months and get into the mental place you need to be.”

The series

• The Heat has beaten Charlotte all 15 games since James has been a member of the Heat and 16 in a row overall.

This season’s scores: 97-81 on Nov. 16 in Charlotte, 99-98 on Dec. 1 in Miami, 104-96 in overtime on Jan. 18 in Charlotte, and 124-107 on March 3 in Miami, the game in which James set a Heat franchise and personal scoring record with 61 points.

James averaged 37.8 points on 62.9 percent shooting in the four games. Wade played in just two of the games, averaging 10.5 points.

“The speed and quickness and the shooting they have, they’re worthy, worthy opponents,” Spoelstra said.

Said Wade: “The team competes very hard. They have a great one-two punch with Kemba Walker and Big Al Jefferson. They have a great system, and all of them are involved. We’ve got to come with our hard hats on.”

Wade said guards Walker and Gerald Henderson “present some challenges. Walker is a very quick guard. He’s always getting through small gaps. Henderson is an athletic guard with the ability to post-up, midrange game.”

This and that

• With the Heat (54-28) and Houston and Portland all finishing with the same record, the NBA will hold a draw Friday to determine which of them has the 24th, 25th and 26th picks in the June draft. The Heat ended up winning 12 fewer games than last season’s 66-16 team.

• James finished first in NBA jersey sales this season, with Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose and Stephen Curry rounding out the top five. Wade was seventh.

• What most needs to improve from the Heat’s regular season performance?

“Our consistency with our defensive principles, being in the right place,” Shane Battier said, adding the playoffs “is ultimately what we’ll be judged on. And we need to be at our best. We have not been close.”

• Battier confirmed to Sun Sports what he has strongly implied for months: He’s retiring after the season. He’s pleased that he reached 30,000 career minutes in Wednesday’s regular season finale (33,004 to be exact).

“It makes me smile when I think about it,” he said. “If you would have told me when I was a little boy, ‘One day you’re going to play 30,000 regular-season NBA minutes,’ I’d say, ‘Get out of here.’ I needed 36 minutes going in, and thanks to circumstance, I got [nearly 40].”

Read more Miami Heat stories from the Miami Herald

FILE - In this Jan. 17, 2014, file photo, then-Cleveland Cavaliers forward Luol Deng looks on against the Denver Nuggets in the fourth quarter of the Cavaliers' 117-109 victory in an NBA basketball game in Denver. Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry has been disciplined by CEO Steve Koonin for making racially charged comments about Luol Deng when the team pursued the free agent this year. Ferry apologized Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, for “repeating comments that were gathered from numerous sources” about Deng.

    Miami Heat

    More comments besmirching new Miami Heat forward Luol Deng

    Days after it was revealed that Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry made racially charged comments about new Heat forward Luol Deng before Deng became a free agent this summer, additional comments made by Ferry about Deng came to light Thursday.

FILE - In this Dec. 22, 2011, file photo, Atlanta Hawks co-owners Michael Gearon Jr., left, and Bruce Levenson talk prior to the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game at Philips Arena in Atlanta. Hawks general manager Danny Ferry has been disciplined by CEO Steve Koonin for making racially charged comments about Luol Deng when the team pursued the free agent this year. The team did not provide any details of the discipline.

    Hawks discipline GM Ferry for racist comments

    The Atlanta Hawks are sticking with general manager Danny Ferry even though the team's new majority owner wants him fired for racially charged comments about Luol Deng.

Shaquille O'Neal stopped by Doral City Hall Wednesday to say hello to the city council before sitting down with the police department. O’neal applied to be a reserve officer and is undergoing a background check.


    Shaq wants to attack crime in Doral

    Former Miami Heat star Shaquille O’Neal applied to be a reserve police officer for the city of Doral on Wednesday.

Get your Miami Heat Fan Gear!

Join the

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