Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade a game-time decision for Game 5 vs. Bulls


UPDATE 6:55 p.m. ET: Wade told reporters before the game that he will play in Game 5. It’s worth monitoring his minutes and his usage to see just how much he’s able to give while playing with the lingering injury.

12:30 p.m. ET:Dwyane Wade participated in shootaround for the Heat Wednesday morning, but is listed as a game-time decision for Game 5 against the Bulls.

Wade is suffering through a knee injury, which was reaggravated during Miami’s Game 4 win in Chicago on Monday.

“He had a very good day [Tuesday] and a good shootaround,” Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said, via ESPN.com. “We’ll evaluate him before the game and go from there.”

If Wade is medically cleared to play, Spoelstra will let him do so without restrictions.

“If he’s able to go, there’s no excuses and he’ll give us everything he’s got,” Spoelstra said. “He’ll help us on both sides of the court. He’s one of the best two-way players in this game. He’s been making an impact regardless of what people think about that last column in the box score.”

That last part is Spoelstra continuing to defend Wade in the face of criticism that he simply isn’t performing at the level we’ve come to expect, and that his sub-par level of activity might not be enough for the Heat to reach their ultimate goal of repeating as champions.

The answer might be to sit Wade in Game 5 to give his knee some extra time to rest, just as Miami did in the series-clinching game of its first round series against the Bucks. But it’s a little trickier with this Bulls team considering the fight they’ve shown at times in this series, and the Heat will likely have anywhere from four to six days to prepare for the Eastern Conference finals if they can close out Chicago on Wednesday.

Gallinari ready to take big role in new Nuggets offense

Danilo Gallinari, Jimmy Butler
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DENVER (AP) — Danilo Gallinari wants everyone to know this: His surgically repaired left knee, the one that took three procedures to fix and nearly two seasons to fully trust, no longer bothers him.

The Denver Nuggets forward doesn’t need to be on any sort of minutes restriction. He doesn’t need days off during the season. And he certainly doesn’t need to be coddled.

He’s Gallo again, the hard-to-guard Italian playmaker who can knock down the 3-pointer just as easily as drive to the hoop or even post up. He believes he will fit in quite nicely into new coach Michael Malone’s system.

“The thing I’m focused on is trying to get (this team) back to the same level that the Nuggets were when I got to Denver, when we were going to the playoffs easy. When we were clinching a playoff one or two weeks before the season was over,” said Gallinari, who was acquired in the 2011 blockbuster deal that sent Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks. “We need to get back to that level.”

Almost seems so long ago, given that the Nuggets have missed the playoffs two straight seasons after consistently making it for nearly a decade.

Gallinari returned last season for the first time since blowing out his knee in a game on April 4, 2013. His minutes were closely monitored early in the season. He never really got completely on track until late last season, when he averaged 20.5 points over the final 10 contests, including a career-high 47 against Dallas. He’s hoping to carry that kind of confidence this season.

“I’m good to go. I was good to go as soon as the beginning of last year,” Gallinari said. “I was not on the same page with the coach that we had.”

That would be Brian Shaw, who was fired last March after 1 1/2 seasons in charge and going 56-85. Exactly why he wasn’t on the same page with Shaw, well, Gallinari preferred the past remain the past.

“I’m ready to play the new season,” he said. “We need to win games, and get back to the same level we were before.”

Gallinari thinks the Nuggets have the personnel to do just that, especially with a rookie point guard in Emmanuel Mudiay and Gallinari’s knee feeling better than it has in a while. He feels like he has some ground to make up, too, since he said that knee robbed him of some of his prime.

“Playing my best basketball right before I got injured,” the 27-year old said. “Now, we’re back to the same level, hopefully better.

“My knee has been feeling great. It felt great last year. Feeling great during the summer. Feeling great now. I just feel good.”

He spent the summer playing for the Italian team at the EuroBasket tournament, where he averaged nearly 18 points a game. In those games, Gallinari saw quite a bit of time at the four spot on the floor, forcing teams to either use a bulkier big man to cover him and risk getting burned on a drive or a smaller player that Gallinari could simply shoot over.

Malone plans to employ a similar type approach, something they discussed over gelato when the coach visited Gallinari in Italy soon after he was hired.

“He’s 6-foot-10. He can handle the ball. He can play pick-and-roll. He can stretch the floor and shoot the 3,” Malone said. “There’s not a lot he can’t do offensively.”

Gallinari wants the responsibility of being the go-to player for the Nuggets this season, especially at crunch time.

“I’ve always been trying to do that, since I came to Denver,” Gallinari said. “That’s what I like to do. I feel good filling those shoes.

“I want to have the ball in my hands. I do want to have the ball in my hands a lot more.”

Knicks’ Rookie Jerian Grant gets up, throws it down (VIDEO)

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The Knicks did well trading for Jerian Grant on date night — he’s going to be able to walk in this year and play quality minutes off the bench.

And, he can get up and throw it down.

Carmelo Anthony had 18 points to lead the Knicks to a 94-88 win over the Sixers.