Confined to his hotel room with a debilitating migraine headache, Heat guard Dwyane Wade missed Tuesday’s game against the Phoenix Suns and also could rest against the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday.
A sufferer of chronic migraine headaches throughout his career, Wade went through the 2012-13 regular season without missing a game because of the ailment. He has now missed 14 games this season, mostly to rest his right knee.
“It started to set in this afternoon,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He wasn’t able to make either bus. He wanted to play, and we’ll see how he feels later on.”
Wade’s place in the starting lineup was filled by Heat newcomer Toney Douglas, who was added to the team on Jan. 15 in a three-team trade that sent former Heat center Joel Anthony to the Boston Celtics. It was Douglas’ first start of the season and his first start with any team since Jan. 28, 2012, with the Knicks.
“I’m just blessed to be on a championship team with great guys and a winning organization,” Douglas said.
Ray Allen had previously been starting games in place of Wade, but Spoelstra would rather Allen come off the bench as a scoring option. Douglas’ ability as a defender gives Spoelstra that option.
“I learn quickly,” Douglas said before the game. “So, I just get better every day and compete in practice and in games when I’m out there on the floor.”
Douglas has played for four teams in the past two seasons. Douglas began this season with the Golden State Warriors. If Wade needs more rest, Douglas would likely start against his old team.
“I’m feeling comfortable,” Douglas said. “I haven’t had any challenges, but in a good way. I got traded here to a championship team, and I’m in a good situation.”
A former standout for the Florida State Seminoles, Douglas began his career with the Knicks in 2009 and has since bounced around from Houston to Sacramento to Oakland to Miami. The 27-year-old has picked up plenty of knowledge and experience along the way, which now makes him a valuable defensive option for the Heat.
“Regardless of who I’m guarding, I play ‘D,’ I pick up, I pressure the ball,” Douglas said. “That’s what I do. It’s just in me. That’s been my mark since I was in college.”
The simmering rivalry between the Heat and Pacers will be put on hold this weekend when Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh fly to New Orleans to play with Paul George and Roy Hibbert for the Eastern Conference in the All-Star Game. Pacers coach Frank Vogel is coaching the East, but don’t expect the Heat to come away from the experience with any inside information on Indiana. Wade said the casual nature of the weekend doesn’t allow players to learn much from other coaches but added players “get a sense of how they operate.”
“But it isn’t nothing you don’t know,” Wade said. “I remember one All-Stars, the Boston Celtics guys were calling out all the sets that were running in the All-Star Game, so they kind of knew our offense, but there’s not nothing you really don’t know. You get to see guys’ personalities a little bit.”