Dwyane Wade is one of the NBA’s all-time greatest to ever play at the shooting guard position, and the knee issues he’s dealt with throughout his career makes that achievement all the more remarkable.
Wade powered through his problems to help the Heat win a second straight title last June, and even had his knee drained prior to Game 7 of the Finals in order to be able to contribute to his team’s championship effort.
It didn’t have to be this way for Wade, however, if you take into consideration his most recent comments. The surgery he had in 2002 while still in college that removed his meniscus negatively impacted the way his knee would perform over the life of his NBA career.
From Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com:
With hindsight, Dwyane Wade says surgery to remove the meniscus from his left knee 11 years ago while he was at Marquette led to the ongoing knee problems he’s had with the Miami Heat.
“My knee problems and the things I’ve dealt with started from that,” Wade said. “That was  years ago and technology was different and the way you approach things was different.
“At that moment, if everyone looked ahead and said, ‘Dwyane’s going to have a 20-year career, maybe we should do something different,’ maybe I wouldn’t have [knee issues]. At that time it was to get me back on the basketball court and do what is best.”
The question of Wade’s knee was raised thanks to the Thunder’s Russell Westbrook needing to undergo an additional procedure that is expected to sideline him for at least the first 4-6 weeks of the regular season.
Wade has achieved plenty in spite of his knee issues. But imagine how much better he could have been if the technology had been a bit more advanced at the time of his first surgery, or if back then those in the medical profession had taken into account his long-term plans to compete athletically at the highest levels possible.
Apparently, all it takes is a little public discussion of LeBron James‘ “broken” jump shot to get him back on balance and knocking down the three ball — he was 4-of-6 from deep Wednesday.
Then again J.R. Smith was 7-of-13, Kyrie Irving 4-of-5, and as a team the Cavaliers knocked down a record 25 threes — while shooting 55.6 percent — as they wiped the floor with the Hawks in Game 2.
In case you’re curious where the Cavs were hitting from, here’s the team’s shot chart.
The Houston Rockets aren’t in any rush to hire a new head coach, preferring to interview a wide range of candidates to find the right one. Jeff Van Gundy has been widely believed to be at the top of their list, now that Tom Thibodeau and Scott Brooks are off the market, but ESPN.com’s Marc Stein is reporting another name that has entered the mix: Mike D’Antoni, who last held a head coaching job from 2012 to 2014 with the Lakers and currently serves as the Sixers’ lead assistant.
The Pacers, meanwhile, haven’t made a final decision on Frank Vogel’s future with the team, but all signs seem to point to him getting let go in the next few days. And if that happens, Stein reports that Vogel will also be on Houston’s list of candidates.
Given the Rockets’ massive drop-off on the defensive end this season, Vogel would seem to be a better fit than D’Antoni. But it sounds like the Rockets aren’t close to finding a replacement for J.B. Bickerstaff, although it would make sense to have a new coach in place by next month’s draft.
On Monday, the Hawks played the Cavaliers close and even led in the fourth quarter, leading plenty of optimism that Game 2 would be equally competitive, that the Hawks had something to build on.
The Cavs dominated from the start on Wednesday, with a 123-98 final score that was far closer than the game actually was — the Cavs led 74-36 at the half and led by as much as 38 at one point in the second half.
The Cavs also hit 25 three-pointers, which is the all-time record for a single game — regular season or playoffs. J.R. Smith hit seven of them, along with four each from LeBron James and Kyrie Irving and three for Kevin Love.
18 of Cleveland’s threes came in the first half, also a playoff record, and this was all Atlanta could do:
That’s the kind of night it was for the Hawks, who now trail 2-0 in the series as it heads back to Atlanta.
LeBron James has always been an incredible passer. In the midst of the Cavs’ Game 2 beatdown of the Hawks, he zipped this one-handed beauty into the paint to Kyrie Irving, who kicked it out to Kevin Love for a corner three:
The three was just one of the 18 Cleveland hit in the first half, which set an NBA playoff record.