Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014 at 10:55 am  |  37 responses

LeBron James Says Dwyane Wade’s Injuries Hurt Miami’s Chemistry


by Marcel Mutoni @ marcel_mutoni 

Dwyane Wade has missed 12 games so far this season, and according to LeBron James, Wade’s absences from the lineup due to gimpy knees have made things increasingly challenging for the Miami Heat.

After admitting to some knee soreness on Monday, Wade sat out his third game in a row last night (a 93-86 win over the visiting Boston Celtics.) The defending back-to-back NBA champs have gone 6-6 without their star shooting guard in the lineup.

Per the Miami Herald:

“It’s tough,” James said. “Guys think it’s easy, but it’s tough. We have a team built on chemistry, built on rhythm. With so many of the guys being in and out, and the concern with D-Wade, it’s been tough on all of us. We’ve got to go in with the mindset sometimes that he’s not playing, as opposed to: Is he playing?”

“What we try to do is not predetermine and have expectations about it,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “You can’t predict it. You’re going to have some good days and some days where you don’t feel great. We know as long as we stick to the routine, he should get better, quicker and stronger. Now that we’re at home we can get back on the routine of strength training and conditioning.”

“We’ve had a little more guys out than just Dwyane this year,” James said. “From a rhythm standpoint, it’s kind of hurt us. We’re a team that is built on rhythm and chemistry, and we’ve had so many guys out with injuries that it’s kind of hurt our performance. Me watching the film, some of the things we’ve been able to cover in the past is off. Last year, when D-Wade went out, we had Mike Miller to step in. Mike Miller was in the system for a while, so we could automatically fill that void. Now, with D-Wade out, it’s given more opportunities to guys that haven’t been in the system as many years or as many situations as Mike Miller.”

Miami has started a dozen different lineups so far, as Spoelstra sorts through various injuries — only Norris Cole has suited up in every game this season. The Heat went 11-2 with Wade in street clothes last season, and 14-3 in 2011-‘12.

Injuries and fatigue are taking their toll as the Miami Heat go for a third straight title. The task promises only to get more difficult going forward.

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    does lebron believe that dwade will be healthy enough over the next handful of years? i doubt it.

  • JJ Jones

    Wade is worse than they’re letting on. He was ineffective the last two games he did play and has missed the last three. If he fails to prove that he can’t stay healthy in this years playoffs then he either needs to take a massive pay cut or lebron should look elsewhere. He didn’t come to miami for wade to make the same salary as him sitting on his a**. Westbrook has had two surgeries this year and may possibly play in more games this year. Thats ridiculous.

  • JJ Jones

    No and u can see it in his body language on the court the end is near go wade they just won’t admit it yet

  • Anthony

    Depending on how the media spins this….this quote, soundbite, or whatever it is, may be the initial string in the unraveling of the BIG three and the reining champion Miam Heat team…especially with free agency looming. (I just hope that Lebron’s and Wade’s friendship still stand in the aftermath…..SARCASM)

  • JML-G

    Wade still the best SG in the league tho

  • CoolStoryBro

    That’s b/c Westbrook is younger than Wade. It’s safe to say Wade isn’t the 06 Wade anymore, but the guy is averaging 18ppg, 54%fg. The reason why the Heat are doing the “maintenance program” with him is bc he had surgery just a little bit before the training camp started (which he didn’t take part to work out), but with that being said, the guy still top 15 in the league and top 10 at his position. Will they split up after this year? I’ll say maybe if they don’t threepeat, but remember every year people say the same about Wade (he’s old, injured, can’t defend) but those same people eat their words all the time in June.

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    That last statement is spot on. For the past two seasons I’ve heard nothing from ESPN but how banged up Wade is and the BIg 3 might breakup because of his injuries and every June he makes them eat crow. He might be done BUT I will wait to make that judgement when the season is done. Because no matter what is said the guy always shows up when the chips are down and the stakes are the highest.

  • Anthony

    Not gonna argue w/ you on that…I’m just saying if I’m picking a squad and I got Harden and Dwade both looking to fill a SG spot on my roster….that’s gonna be a tough decision my dude.

  • King Chalmers

    You might want to pick the flopping Harden if its a long term decision, seeing as Wade is nearing the end of his spectacular career, otherwise you pick Wade.

  • Saleem Rainman

    i dont know…dude is at a point in his career where he is actually unable to play back to backs, so…

  • Lloyd

    They need to learn to play without him. If he goes down in the playoffs, a couple of games with bad chemistry could be the difference between a championship or not. Looks like KD is just figuring out how to win without Westbrook, Lebron needs to do the same.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    What up T? It’s a tough situation, because he makes them eat crow in June, but proves them right in May, and proves them right and wrong in April. You never know if you’re gonna get the Top 5 elite slasher/shotblocker/game changer or the hobbled/jump shot missing/passive DWade that struggles for an entire series. So in that sense, I can see how it can be tough to get a consistent rhythm and develop a gameplan vs elite teams.

    Let’s take last year’s playoffs for example. Aside from Lebron and Birdman, I can’t think of another Heat player that played to their potential or better for 3 playoff game stretch. A lot of people say Bosh saved the day with the offensive rebound and Ray Allen saved Lebron’s legacy with that big 3, which is a valid point. But in game 7, Bosh, Allen, Haslem, and Mike Miller combined for 0 points on 0/14 shooting. That kind of inconsistency makes it extremely difficult to strategize because you never know what you’re gonna get from option 2 to option 10.

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    What’s good my G? How you been? Yeah you have a point and I’m not arguing the fact that it hampers the ability to get a nice rhythm I’m just saying I’ll wait to truly criticize this matter because I’ve been proven wrong the last two seasons and I hate it lol but as far as any player other than Lebron & Birdman I’d have to say Cole was pretty damn consitent during that Bulls playoff series as far as adding some offensive help. But you are definitely right my friend getting a combined 0/14 out of those 4 guys in a Game 7 for the chip is unacceptable and they should consider themselves lucky that the King & Flash showed up.

  • spit hot fiyah

    at this point u can only count on him to play every other game though, so that has to be taken into consideration

  • bike

    Even if Wade is 100 percent for the playoffs, they are going to have an awfully tough time with the Pacers. The Big Three will have to be firing on all cylinders and they better hope that maybe Oden can come up big.

  • JJ Jones

    If this continues the heat won’t be there in June. Him taking all of these games off hurts there chemistry and causes unnecessary turnovers. Wades stats are dropping every year. Wade was suppose to be able to play back to backs by now instead he’s missing even more games. This is very concerning.

  • Jessica J. Castillo


    ✼✼✼✼ ✼✼𐑤✼✼ ✼✼✼✼ ✼✼✼ ✼𐑞✼ ✼✼✼it’s been tough on all of us. We’ve got to go in with the mindset sometimes that he’s not playing, as opposed to: Is he playing?

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Cole scored 7, 5, 18, 7, and 5 vs the Bulls, but you’re right, he brought energy and solid all around play off of the bench.

    I revisited the Box Scores for the finals and was surprised with Cole’s output:
    Game 1 – 17 minutes 5 points
    Game 2 – 12 minutes 2 points
    game 3 – 26 minutes 8 points
    game 4 – 18 minutes 0 points
    game 5 – 6 minutes 0 points
    game 6 – dnp
    game 7 – dnp

    I knew he had a quiet series but damn. I need to rewatch that series again (sober this time)!

  • JJ Jones

    Exactly did lebron come to play with an all-time great shooting guard at his side. Or a cripple whose only effective in spurts but not consistent?

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    Yeah his numbers weren’t stellar whatsoever but he added some energy and solid defense because Chalmers was struggling. LOL I was pretty sober and he looked pretty lost out there to be honest. Everybody on the Heat seemed to dip in productivity throughout the finals even LeBron to some degree. I think that was a testament to how good the Spurs defense really was during those 7 games.

  • The Philosopher

    This is their last season together…
    All of them look like they are aging.
    Even The King.

  • Drig

    Gotta say LeBron is laying down a solid foundation for another free agency decision.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    I hear you. I’m a big DWade fan, but I find it hard to keep him in the “Top 10″ conversation when he’s sitting out 25% of games and struggling to string together a stretch of All-NBA type of performances.
    When he’s playing pain-free/motivated basketball, he cracks my Top 6 list, but those type of games are becoming fewer and farther between.

  • playa

    So maybe there’s no THE BEST sg at the moment?Like at all?Ha!

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    This is true, the Spurs’ defense take away your strengths and force you to make shots you don’t necessarily want to shoot.

    At the end of the day, the Heat’s winning ways cannot and will not continue if Riley offers Wade “That Kobe Deal” this summer.

  • Zo

    Should’ve kept Mike Miller

  • LakeShow


    TSK TSK….

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    Very true. It’s a pretty sticky situation for Riley when you think about it. Do you give him “That Kobe Deal” in risk of LeBron not being in favor of it and bouncing? Or do you give him less in order to please the King?

  • spit hot fiyah
  • JJ Jones

    Exactly which is why wades health could effect lebrons decision come june. Carmelo is out there hungry to win his first and has the type of game to remain effective into his 30s its definitely a possibility.

  • IggI

    I think Wade loves to play ball, if it was up to him he would be playing every game. By not playing he hurt him self more than anybody else, so in my humble opinion as a huge D. Wade fan if he don’t is, cuz he really can’t. I’m pretty sure that he does not want to sit and watch the game he loves to play. Also I’m sure he would be paying if he’s at least 80% able. D. wade is a tough dude. I just wish I could afford the Way of Wade shoe by Li-Ning, those are sick…

  • IggI



  • JJ Jones

    The 2 guard position Is dying Better hope kobe comes back at a high level later.

  • The Seed

    Superfriends, LOL, Bron will ask for two more all stars next year, what is the big deal.

  • JJ Jones

    This is definitely over looked. Whenever wade was out mike miller usually stepped in pretty well like against the spurs last year. Now who do they have roger mason Jr is trash and has no business playing on any nba team right now.

  • Tony Taylor

    Works for Timmy Duncan lol

  • Mister Avalon

    Indiana Pacers are gonna rep the EAST
    OKC/LAC the WEST
    MIami is gonna start in November with the big three broken up…