There has been talk since the end of Game 4, actually a lot of people didn't even wait for the game to end, on whether Mr. Wade should sit or play Game 5. I'm going to make the case on why he should play.
Tied with Shane Battier, Wade leads the team with +49 in the series. Despite his numbers looking far below his standards, Wade is still significantly affecting games. Coach Spo says it far more eloquently than i ever could:
He’s a battler, he’s a warrior, he’ll fight through it, and he never makes excuses for anything and he’s giving us everything he’s got and he’s giving us minutes that help us win — that’s the bottom line. I know everyone’s looking at how many shots he’s getting up and how many points he can score. He’s at a point where he knows every series is different, every game is different and the whole point is help us win and he’s doing that.
Is he coming in there and creating 30 a night? No, but he’s creating a lot of good things for us, defensively he’s competing, giving us a presence from the perimeter position to help rebound. And then offensively he’s making the right plays and oftentimes that’s to throw it back and let the ball start moving, so he’ll continue to get in better rhythm. He had some good actions [Monday night] that hopefully we can lean and build on for Wednesday
Wade is a threat, always will be, regardless of his health. If he is on the court he will make plays on defense, and the defense will always have to account for him when the Heat have the ball. That gives LBJ more room, more room for the shooters, and improved ball movement. Wade's game goes so far beyond scoring to be an impact.
Rest doesn't seem to matter on how the knee reacts. Remember he missed 6 straight games at the end of the season, plus the 10 days he had before the start of the Chicago series. None of that seem to have had an impact on the knee. He is still hobbling. But consider this, if he rests Game 5, and the Heat somehow lose the game, he must be there Game 6. So he loses the extra days of rest to prep for the next series, AND he has to put more effort in a Game 6 than he would have for Game 5. so that is a total loss situation.
He is an ultra-competitive, relentless athlete. I can't imagine him being able to sit in a suite and watch his team close out his hometown team after the way this series has gone. You can bet your ass Wade wants to be out there to end this series. and like i said before, ending this series earlier is more important, so i imagine Wade will be there to do just that.
I expect Wade to be in the lineup tonight, and will be disappointed if he's in a suit. Granted, i don't know the pain/discomfort he is in, and he did seem to aggrevate it last game, but he just needs one more game before he gets at least another 5 days of rest (earliest the ECF can start is May 21)