Miami Heat Head Coach Erik Spoelstra has begun his "Maintenance Program" with the team, although this is not how it has been advertised. With Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh among others getting some rest, the team has been able to win without its biggest stars.
Wade has missed the last 4 games since Spoelstra began giving the players some rest and the Heat have gone 3-1. But we haven't seen any #withoutwade hashtags yet. LeBron missed three straight games before returning Saturday night against the 76ers in a win, and Chris Bosh sat out for the first time in that stretch while James returned.
Ray Allen and Mario Chalmers have also seen some rest in the last 4 games. But beyond just the rest given to players, there is a bit of concern among the reasons why they are sitting. LeBron was listed as a hamstring, and he seems to be on his way to being healthy, as well as Chalmers and Ray Allen. But the extended absence of Dwyane Wade can be concerning.
Last year, the Big 3 also got some rest. Bosh missed the last six games of the season, and James missed 3 of the last 4. But Wade missed 8 of the last 16 games last year, and we can all remember that he was not healthy during the championship playoff run.
"The most important thing is to be healthy," said Wade. "So when I feel it, then I'll get back on the court. Obviously I want to play. But I have to make sure that I'm right. You have to get healthy."
Wade has been battling swelling and bruising in his knees since aggravating it against New Orleans on March 29. Should we be concerned about Wade?
I think it's a legitimate concern. Wade doesn't have the best track record about staying healthy. After having knee surgery this past off-season, which cost him an opportunity with Team USA, Wade finally regained form around the All-Star Break, just in time for the Heat's 27 game win streak. Now, he is again struggling to be healthy down the stretch.
As fans, we are hopeful that the rest he is getting will be enough for him to be himself in the playoffs. Wade does hope to return before the playoffs start.
"I do want to get back on the court before the playoffs to get a rhythm. Hopefully sometime this week I can get back on the court," said Wade.
Either way, Spoelstra will continue to use his maintenance program as he sees fit. He said that everyone on the roster is considered day-to-day. With only 6 games left in the regular season, the Heat have just a few moe chances to rest and get a rhythm before they begin the quest for a consecutive NBA Championship.
Next 5 Games
|Milwaukee||Tue 04/09||7:30 PM EDT|
|@ Washington||Wed 04/10||7:00 PM EDT|
|Boston||Fri 04/12||7:30 PM EDT|
|Chicago||Sun 04/14||1:00 PM EDT|
|@ Cleveland||Mon 04/15||7:00 PM EDT|
Last 5 Games
|Philadelphia||Sat 04/06||W 106 - 87|
|@ Charlotte||Fri 04/05||W 89 - 79|
|New York||Tue 04/02||L 90 - 102|
|@ San Antonio||Sun 03/31||W 88 - 86|
|@ New Orleans||Fri 03/29||W 108 - 89|