He played the first seven games of the season injury free, but now Dwyane Wade is hurt again.
The Heat’s All-Star shooting guard strained his hamstring on the second play of Wednesday’s loss to the Indiana Pacers, and on Friday morning ruled himself out for the Heat’s game against the Atlanta Hawks. Wade missed nine games at the end of the 2013-14 regular season with a strained hamstring, so he could once again miss a significant amount of time as a precaution.
“It’s just not smart for me to try to push it,” Wade said.
The Heat plays the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday at AmericanAirlines Arena and then plays in Brooklyn on Monday. Wade didn’t rule himself out for those games, saying he was day-to-day.
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Wade finished the game against the Pacers despite the injury and had 20 points, going 8 of 16 from the field. After the game, his leg tightened and now he doesn’t want to risk injuring it further.
“I’m going to do what’s best for the team, and last night I thought it was best to keep playing and give ourselves a chance to win,” Wade said. “Now you just got to calm it down.”
A trend has emerged for the Heat against teams with deliberate offenses. Miami can’t score. In losses to the Charlotte Hornets and Indiana Pacers, two teams that slow down games with half-court offenses, the Heat averaged just 82 points. On average, there was a 22-point difference between Heat victories and Heat losses before Friday night.
“This early on, a lot of it is who you play and Charlotte and Indiana are slower-paced teams that really do a good job of getting you into the 80s. We want to play in the 90s and 100s,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We also have to constantly build that habit of moving the ball, sharing the game, making the game easier for each other. That’s not necessarily something that comes naturally.”
One of the major themes of the Heat’s series with the Hawks this season will be how Miami defends the three-point arc. The Hawks were ranked first in three-point shooting percentage (40.8 percent) entering Friday’s game, and sharpshooter Kyle Korver was shooting 55 percent from three-point range.
“It starts in transition,” Spoelstra said of defending against the three-pointers. “They like to get out in the open court, and [Jeff] Teague will be pushing it. His ability to get into the paint, and [Paul] Millsap, it opens up the three-point shooting. You can’t take away all of it, but if you can get to them early…then you have a better chance of getting to the three-point line.”
▪ Heat forward Josh McRoberts missed his first game since the season opener. McRoberts was available but went unused do to a blister on his foot. Spoelstra described the sore as “third degree.”
“We have to try to get that better in the next couple days,” Spoelstra said.
▪ Heat center Justin Hamilton (left adductor sprain) was inactive for the fourth-straight game.