Eight-time NBA All-Star Dwyane Wade had an uncharacteristically pitiful game Thursday night as the Miami Heat fell into a 2-1 hole in their ongoing playoff series with the Indiana Pacers. Wade, who finished the game with just five points on 2-13 shooting from the field, missed his first five shots and was held scoreless in the first half for the first time in 95 career playoff games as the Heat were blown out convincingly by 19 points.
Following Wade’s atrocious performance and the Heat’s trouncing, Miami fans were left wondering if their hard-court hero was playing hurt.
While Wade’s teammates said that they were unaware of any injuries plaguing the star, ESPN reports that the former NBA champion may have been actually playing in pain.
ESPN’s Michael Wallace writes:
Wade is dealing with lingering injuries that forced him to miss several games late in the regular season, and the Miami Heat guard required treatment in recent days for knee and leg soreness, sources told ESPN.com on Thursday.
Along with the horrible night he experienced on the court, Wade also caught some attention off it as well.
In the third quarter of the Heat’s 94-75 blowout loss, Wade and coach Erik Spoelstra had a heated verbal altercation. Spoelstra downplayed the tiff in a post-game conference saying confrontations like those are routine during intense moments in games and practices
“Anybody that has been part of a team or has been a coach or been a player, you have no idea how often things like that happen,” Spoelstra said. “That was during a very emotional part of the game. We were getting our butt kicked. Dwyane and I have been together for a long, long time. We’ve been through basically everything.”
Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless discuss the Dwayne Wade – Erick Spoelstra verbal spat in the clip below:
Regardless of what is going on with Dwayne Wade (other analysts have attributed his struggles to the absence of injured Chris Bosh) one thing is clear: he will need to get his act together before Sunday’s game 4, or be faced with a reality that has his team taking the early bus home and the Pacers headed to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Source/img via ESPN