Averaging 21.4 points per game and with a PER of 22.4, Dwyane Wade deserved the All-Star spot the coaches gave him as a reserve.
But he is going to skip the game due to an ongoing hamstring injury, he announced Tuesday.
Miami is currently the eight seed in the West, one game ahead of nine seed Brooklyn and two-and-a-half up on Detroit. While the Heat and Charlotte are tied for the seven/eight seed spots, Charlotte went out on Tuesday and improved its roster to make sure it would get into the playoffs. If there is a team with a target on its back, it’s Miami.
The Heat need Wade back to avoid that fate.
Wade’s absence opens up an All-Star roster spot, to be filled by appointment by Commissioner Adam Silver. As he did with injuries to Kobe Bryant and Blake Griffin in the West, expect Silver to select whoever was next in line on the coaches secret ballots to fill the All-Star reserves.
That most likely is Atlanta sharpshooter Kyle Korver. He is the glue for the top-seeded Hawks, averaging 12.9 points a game and shooting a ridiculous 52.8 percent from three this season. When he is on the court, the Hawks are 12.8 points better per 100 possessions.
If not Korver it likely goes to either the Bucks improved guard Brandon Knight or — in my opinion the more deserving — Nikola Vucevic of the Orlando Magic.