Erik Spoelstra Defends Injured and Struggling Dwyane Wade

by May 15, 2013

It’s no secret that Dwyane Wade has been slowed down by a right knee injury, robbing him of the usual explosiveness. Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra bristled at the suggestion that Wade’s struggles are hurting the defending champions. Per the Miami Herald: “Heat coach Erik Spoelstra was noncommittal Tuesday about Wade playing in Game 5 on Wednesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena, but Wade said Monday night he expected to play. ‘There’s really nothing that you can do,’ Wade said. ‘I’ve tried to exhaust all possibility, but it is what it is.’ […] Spoelstra is confident Wade will still be effective. ‘He’s a battler, he’s a warrior, he’ll fight through it, and he never makes excuses for anything and he’s giving us everything he’s got and he’s giving us minutes that help us win — that’s the bottom line,’ Spoelstra said of Wade. ‘I know everyone’s looking at how many shots he’s getting up and how many points he can score. He’s at a point where he knows every series is different, every game is different and the whole point is help us win and he’s doing that.’ Wade had six points in Game 4, and his lack of explosion has taken away his ability to get to the basket. In the series, Wade is 1 of 2 from the free-throw line. ‘Is he coming in there and creating 30 a night? No, but he’s creating a lot of good things for us, defensively he’s competing, giving us a presence from the perimeter position to help rebound,’ Spoelstra said. ‘And then offensively he’s making the right plays and oftentimes that’s to throw it back and let the ball start moving, so he’ll continue to get in better rhythm. He had some good actions [Monday night] that hopefully we can lean and build on for Wednesday.'”