Lebron James’ ankle injury, suffered during the Miami Heat’s victory over the Utah Jazz, poses some difficult questions for the Heat. With a banged up Dwyane Wade, and now with Lebron limping along, is Miami deep enough to withstand a barrage of injuries?
The Heat looked fantastic Monday night, shooting 63.4 percent from the field to set a franchise record on their way to a 117-94 win. In the third quarter, with 1:15 to go in Miami, Lebron James rolled his ankle. Ankle injuries are nothing new to Lebron, but when it happens, the Miami fans still hold their breath.
Not only is Lebron James the best player on the Heat bench, he is also the best player in the league. It would be difficult for any team to deal with the loss of a player of his caliber. But the Heat have a significant problem should injury issues arise. With their second best player, Dwyane Wade, hampered by knee problems, who would fill the gap in their absences?
The Miami Heat roster is full of role players and veterans chasing rings. Ray Allen is well past his prime, and Shane Battier functions as a defensive stopper. Chris Bosh, the third of the Heat’s “Big Three”, has been good, but not great. The reality is, without Lebron, the Heat are maybe a middle of the pack team in the East.
Lebron did come back to finish the game, giving himself the same treatment he always does when he injures an ankle. He ties his shoes tighter. For now, the other Heat players don’t seem too concerned.
“He does it once a year, so this is his time,” Bosh said. “And it’s usually in December, too. [He] got that out the way, and we can keep moving on.”
“I know him; he has super ankles,” Wade said. “I just know he needed to tie [his shoes] tighter. The next day whenever you sprain ankles, you’ll be sore. But he has another day before we play, so he’ll be fine.”
The situation will not be as funny if this most recent injury causes larger problems down the road. Miami is gearing up for a rematch of last week’s loss to the Indiana Pacers, and with Lebron less than 100 percent, questions are swirling about the durability of this Heat team.
As Lebron James tries to get back to full health from the ankle injury, only time will tell if Dwyane Wade and the Heat could manage without him.