MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Miami Heat are keeping a close eye on Dwyane Wade and his aching knee.
Wade planned to spend “a couple of hours” getting treatment on his right knee Friday. He is still recovering from the three bone bruises that forced him to miss six games near the end of the season, and coach Erik Spoelstra wants to see how the guard feels after treatment before determining his status for Sunday’s Game 4 against the Milwaukee Bucks.
“Structurally, his knee is as good as it’s been in years. That’s why we’re treating it day to day,” Spoelstra said. “This was a bone bruise. What it needs is time and it gets better. But what it also needs is no collisions.”
That’s not possible given the way Wade plays. In fact, there was one play early in Thursday’s 104-91 victory over the Bucks in which he was hit in the knee, face and elbow, Spoelstra said.
“It’s getting better, but he plays a physical game,” Spoelstra said. “He’s fighting through it and some days are better than other. It depends on the collisions he has from the night before.”
The Heat are one win away from finishing their first-round series with Milwaukee after a 104-91 victory over the Bucks on Thursday night. No team has ever overcome a 3-0 deficit to win a series in the NBA playoffs, and the Heat could be tempted to rest Wade on Sunday. Even if the Bucks would force a Game 5, it wouldn’t be until Tuesday night in Miami.
By completing the sweep Sunday, however, the Heat would have at least five full days off before the Eastern Conference semifinals begin.
“We’ll see how he feels today and see how he feels tomorrow,” Spoelstra said.
Wade had just four points Thursday night, and his 1-of-12 shooting was his worst ever in a postseason game. Yet he still made an impact, contributing 11 assists, nine rebounds, five steals and two blocks for the Heat.
And if he wouldn’t play Sunday, the Bucks have no doubt someone else from the Heat’s star-studded roster would step up. With Wade struggling offensively Thursday, Ray Allen scored 23, going 5-of-8 from 3-point range.
“They have some guys, like Ray, who can fill his place,” Larry Sanders said. “It’s going to be a battle regardless.”