Dwyane Wade has sounded more like a guy getting ready for the NHL Stanley Cup finals rather than the NBA finals — he refuses to discuss an injury. He’s had a heat pack on his shoulder. He’s had a guy stretching it out during games. His numbers were way down against the Bulls. But ask him about it and he says there is no problem.
That continued on Monday, the day before Game 1, when Wade practiced with his team full out, then told the media at Heat practice that he is just fine (via the Associated Press).
“I’m not hurt,” he said.
Wade will play a key role in this series — the Mavs have traditionally struggled to stop good two guards. DeShawn Stevenson has had some success on him, but to give Stevenson big minutes means to leave Jason Terry and his scoring on the bench or for the Mavs to go very small. Either way, it plays to the Heat’s strengths. Wade could end up having a monster series, just like last time he played the Mavs in the finals.
In addition to Wade, other Heat players who had sat out practices recently were back in the fold — Udonis Haslem, Mike Miller and James Jones. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said he cut the practice short because it was getting to physical, with guys gearing up for Game 1.
First it was Darryl Dawkins. Then it was Moses Malone.
Two all-time great players who recently died — and at t0o young an age, 58 and 60 respectively — from undiagnosed heart conditions. Even before that, recognizing the issue the NBA players union and the league itself were setting up supplemental health coverage to provide cardiac screening for retired players, something ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan recently broke.
The joint effort between union executive director Michele Roberts and NBA commissioner Adam Silver — at a time when there still may be potentially acrimonious labor negotiations looming for their sides — is intended to ease the health concerns of its retired players.
Roberts said action from the players’ association on providing screening for its retired players is “imminent.”
“I wish I could give you an exact timetable, but we have to make sure all the components are in place,” Roberts told ESPN recently. “I will tell you we hope to have something sooner than later.”
The Cardiologists are affiliated with the NBA already, and some of the money will come from the league, while the union is both pitching in a chunk of cash and is the one organizing this, according to the report.
It’s good to Roberts and Silver working together on this. While you’d like to think this would be the kind of no-brainer move that the league and union would work together on, in the past the relationship didn’t always facilitate this sort of cooperation even on the obvious.
I’d like to think this bodes well for future labor talks, but I’m not willing to completely draw that parallel.
Somebody is in midseason form.
Stephen Curry put up 30 on Portland in a preseason game Thursday night, hitting six threes and getting to the line 15 times over the course of his less than 26 minutes. It was quite a show.
Portland won the game 118-101 behind 25 points from Allen Crabbe and 22 from Damian Lillard. Not a lot of defense in this one but it was fun to watch.