Dwyane Wade has missed 48 games in the past two seasons, mostly all because of a preventative maintenance program for his weary knees. Heat coach Eric Spoelstra has prioritized a relatively healthy Wade for the playoffs over regular season wins — which was the smart thing to do. And still is the smart thing to do.
But at his press conference Wednesday heading into this new season, Spoelstra said he is not playing Wade with any restrictions, via Jason Lieser of the The Palm Beach Post.
Spoelstra is going to treat this season like he did the last couple — he’s not going to have a hard-and-fast minutes limit (as Byron Scott has talked about with Kobe Bryant), and he’s not going to give a game limit, but don’t confuse that with him being willing to pull or rest Wade if he looks at all a little sore or fatigued.
How comfortable Spoelstra is with resting Wade will be tied to how well Gerald Green plays as his backup, and maybe Josh Richardson behind him. This is a deeper Heat team if Josh McRoberts can stay healthy and Justise Winslow is as good as they hope, they can afford to rest Wade some and get wins in Goran Dragic and Chris Bosh are right.
It’s why Miami may be the second best team in the East. Maybe.