May 18, 2012, 10:53 AM EDT
Dwyane Wade just had the worst playoff game of his career.
Thursday night the Heat ran some sets just for Wade early yet he was scoreless in the first half and eventually finished the game 2-13 shooting with five turnovers to one assist. He was frustrated, which led to him jawing some at coach Erik Spoelstra. His meltdown was the front wave of the Heat’s Game 3 collapse.
Part of his performance was because the lower leg injury that had him missing games earlier this season has returned, reports Michael Wallace at ESPN.
Wade is dealing with lingering injuries that forced him to miss several games late in the regular season, and the Miami Heat guard required treatment in recent days for knee and leg soreness, sources told ESPN.com on Thursday.
Wade wouldn’t discuss the injury, nor would he discuss the incident with Spoelstra (saying he didn’t even remember it).
That said, it is clearly impacting his play — that was not the normal Wade out there Thursday. He wasn’t attacking with his regular abandon, rather he settled for jumpers. Indy is doing a nice job of throwing different defenders and looks at Wade, but he is still one of the game’s elite scorers. He can get his. Well, he can when healthy.
Wade’s poor performance combined with the now threatening Miami elimination in the second round had some fans Friday suggesting Wade should be traded. Fortunately Heat management would never do something so idiotic. First off, there just are not enough players of his quality on the planet and you could never get equal value back. Second, this is the guy who stuck with the Heat through some very lean years and helped recruit the talent they have now — and you’ll coldly dump him after one playoff series? That’s how you end up with Isiah Thomas’ Knicks roster.
Miami has a lot of problems, starting with the fact the Pacers are good. Miami was going to have to play well to beat them, and they sorely miss Chris Bosh’s size and ability to pull bigs out of the paint with his jump shot. Now add to that a hobbled Wade and it may be too much for Miami to overcome.
We will find out Sunday because if the Heat don’t win then and go down 3-1 the Heat’s problems will become insurmountable.
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