Wade: ‘I’m not where I want to be’
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
MIAMI — The rest-play-rest-play model won’t work for Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade during the regular season, as it has during the preseason.
But the implication is obvious: When Wade is healthy and rested, he is still explosive, dynamic and a threat and remains a key factor in Miami’s attempt to win a third consecutive NBA championship.
In Miami’s 121-96 preseason victory vs. the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday, Wade Euro-stepped, posted up and drove to the basket on his way a game-high 25 points in nearly 27 minutes. He shot 10-for-14 from the field and had seven assists, four rebounds and three steals.
“I’m getting better every day,” Wade said. “But I’m not where I want to be. When the season starts, I won’t be where I want to be. But as the season goes on, I’ll get stronger and stronger and better.”
The Heat need Wade stronger and better at the end of the season, which has not been the case the past two seasons because he dealt with knee problems. Wade needed surgery two offseasons ago but avoided this summer.
At the end of last season, he had painful bones bruises on his right knee and an issue with his left knee late in the NBA Finals. It bothered Heat coach Erik Spoelstra that Wade took criticism for his play when he could have been commended for toughing it out.
“He kept on playing during that and wanted to sacrifice and be there for the team to help us win, knowing that it would have to be in a different way than people are accustomed to seeing. … Most players probably wouldn’t have played,” Spoelstra said.
There was no structural damage that required surgery, and Wade acknowledged he’s going to be one of those guys who sometimes deals with injuries. He doesn’t want that to be the case, but he’s come to realize that might just be his lot.
“My body’s going to do what my body’s going to do,” Wade said. “If it was up to me, I’d never have a sprained ankle in my life. But it’s not up to me.”