We'll get this started with the obvious choice for most important news of the day, the status of Dwyane Wade. X-Rays on his sprained right wrist came back negative, which is good sign #1. He didn't practice Tuesday but there was no full squad practice to miss, so while one would assume that he would've sat out on-court team activity, you never know. Wade admitted that the wrist had already been sore and that this incident just aggravated it more.
He did receive treatment yesterday but I doubt we hear anything about his status for tonight's game until pre-game shootaround. Even though he came back into the game Monday night in Utah, he was a shell of his normal self. He attempted season-lows in both 3-pointers (0) and free throws (1). It was the first time this year that he didn't attempt a trey.
If Wade doesn't play, don't be surprised if the Heat start Carlos Arroyo or Mario Chalmers in his place. The reason for that is because Golden State has a very small backcourt. Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry are both a ‘small' 6'3", so should Dwyane have to sit this one out then Erik Spoelstra may go with some of our smaller guys to match up with the Warriors.
Moving on to the game, don't be fooled by the poor record of Golden State. They have been playing much better of late, winning two of their last three. Leading the way for the Warriors has been Heat killer Corey Maggette (I still remember that buzzer beater he hit against us when he played for the Clippers back in January of 05) and Monta Ellis.
Maggette has been doing it all for the Clips now that his hamstrings are back to full strength; scoring, getting to the foul line, rebounding, etc. Ellis has been on a complete tear since scoring a season-low 8 points on December 14th. In the 12 games since then he has scored at least 30 points in 9 of them and is averaging 30.5 ppg in that span.
- The Heat have now lost 6 of their last 8 games. They've also dropped 4 of 5 on the road.
- The Warriors will be without PF Anthony Randolph, who was really playing well of late before tearing ligaments in his left ankle. He could be gone for the rest of the season.
- Also out for Golden State is Brandan Wright (shoulder), Raja Bell (wrist) and Keleena Azubuike (knee).
- Oracle Arena, constructed in 1966 as the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Arena, is the oldest facility still in use in the NBA.
- In their last 4 visits to Oracle Arena the Heat are averaging a ridiculous 117.8 ppg.
- Miami comes into this contest at 18-18. They haven't fallen below .500 since 11/29 of last season when a loss to the Clippers dropped them to 8-9.
So yeah...I'm done with expectations for this team. We know there are some talented players on this roster but god only knows how any of them are going to play from game to game. But who knows...tonight could be the start of a good stretch of games. I'll leave you with this: an article from a few days ago by Dave Hyde of the Sun-Sentinel regarding Pat Riley's plans to go after some guy named LeBron. If you missed it, I highly suggest giving it a looksie. Have a great day/night everyone!