Apr 11, 2014, 11:18 AM EDT
Dwyane Wade has played only one of the Heat’s last 11 games – against the Pacers on March 26.
When Miami and Indiana meet, it’s all hands on deck. Even when Frank Vogel announced the Pacers’ starters would sit against Milwaukee, he left no doubt they’d return for the Heat game tonight.
So, it’s telling Wade is out for the fourth matchup between the Eastern Conference favorites. (Yes, Indiana still qualifies.)
Brian Windhorst of ESPN:
Indiana (54-25) leads Miami (53-25) by a half game and holds a 2-1 edge in the season series. If the Pacers win tonight, they’re in excellent shape to secure the No. 1 seed and homecourt advantage until the NBA Finals.
The Heat, surely, would prefer to hold that advantage for themselves. But if they can’t get Wade healthy, it doesn’t really matter. They’ll have a hard time threepeating without him.
So, if sitting Wade tonight makes it more likely he’s healthy for the playoffs, Miami will do it.
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