Heat guard Dwyane Wade decided he felt well enough Sunday to try his second back-to-back of the season.
“It’s got to come a point where I’ll feel comfortable trying it, so this would be a good time,” Wade said.
Saturday, he played 35:58 in the Heat’s win against Orlando. The last time Wade tried to play a back-to-back, he played 36:09 against Dallas at AmericanAirlines Arena, then after a team charter flight to Charlotte, played 22:58 against the Bobcats before leaving that game and sitting out the next two.
Wade was asked whether he’s starting to feel the full effects of the OssaTron shockwave therapy he underwent on his knee over the summer
“I feel like it’s less sore now in January than it was in December,” Wade said. “Hopefully, better as the months go on.”
Shane Battier sat out with a left quad strain. After Chris Bosh picked up two fouls and Chris Andersen got two in the first quarter, Udonis Haslem was brought onto the court after two games on the bench.
Things you might not have known about Canada: basketball has become the most popular participation team sport among those between ages 12 and 17, zipping past hockey. A Canadian was chosen No. 1 overall in the 2013 NBA Draft ( Anthony Bennett) and might be again in 2014 (Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins).
And the Toronto Raptors streak of five wins going into Sunday night’s game pushed them over .500, a rarity in the Eastern Conference.
(By the way, the Heat has more Canadians on its roster than Toronto does, center Joel Anthony to zero).
“The chemistry has gotten together offensively and defensively,” Toronto coach Dwane Casey said. “Offensive flow is much better. We are not as much of an iso team as we were. Defensively, we are improving. We’re not where we want to be yet, but we are getting to where we need to be.”
Since trading forward Rudy Gay, forward Quincy Acy and center Aaron Gray to Sacramento for guard Greivis Vasquez, guard John Salmons, forward Chuck Hayes and forward Patrick Patterson, the Raptors were 9-3 before Sunday.
“They’ve added some depth through the trade,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “They’re playing fast, quick, athletic. [ Terrence] Ross gives them a dimension of shooting. Their bench has improved. They did it a little under the radar with this trade.”
Weather dumped huge amounts of snow on the Midwest over the weekend, and with extreme enough expected to follow Monday, some school systems in Canada made the decision to close for Monday by brunch Sunday.
That kept Toronto in Miami for another day instead of flying to Indiana, as they would normally.
Reserve center Greg Oden appeared in the Heat locker room during pregame. He stiffly limped to his locker and, soon after, had large ice wraps on both knees. Oden and Battier were the Heat inactives.
Forward Tyler Hansborough, infamous to Heat fans after the last two playoff series against Indiana before signing with Toronto as a free agent, was the lone Raptors inactive. Hansborough has a sprained ankle.