ST. FRANCIS, Wis. — Is Dwyane Wade a dirty player?
That’s the topic de jour around the NBA as the Miami Heat guard and former Marquette University star was issued a one-game suspension for “flailing his leg and making contact with the groin” of Bobcats guard Ramon Sessions. Wade will sit out Friday’s game against Detroit and return to action Saturday against Milwaukee.
It’s the latest incident in a series of controversial happenings involving Wade and many have been quick to place the “dirty” label on Wade. After practice at the Cousins Center on Friday, the Milwaukee Bucks disagreed with that notion.
“We live in a day and age where everybody is snap-judging everything, all of the time,” Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. “A guy can have five years where nothing happens and he does it one time and everybody brands him something. Things happen when guys compete and the league makes judgments.”
In a statement, the Miami Heat claimed Friday that’s what’s happening with Wade.
“While we accept the decision of the NBA regarding Dwyane Wade, we do not agree with it,” the statement read. “In his 10 years in the league, Dwyane has never been suspended, and has been an exemplary player and positive influence to his teammates and fans and we have been honored to have him as part of the Miami Heat family.
“Unfortunately, he is the type of player, along with other players on our roster, that defenses take privileges with. We stand with Dwyane and support him in this situation and have made our feelings known to the league office.”
However, recently, Wade is becoming more and more involved in plays deemed questionable, and his reputation around the league may be taking a hit.
ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst chronicled six plays that have occurred since 2011 in his blog post Friday. The incidents range from Wade appearing to stick his leg out and tripping Celtics guard Rajon Rondo to a hard foul that broke Kobe Bryant’s nose in the All-Star Game.
Despite all of that, the Bucks don’t consider Wade dirty. Veteran forward Mike Dunleavy said he has a list of dirty players, and Wade isn’t on it.
“I’ve never seen it, I don’t think he is,” Bucks forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, a guy who often guards Wade, said. “He’s never done anything dirty to me. I’ve never seen it. He might be, but from my perspective he isn’t.”
Too many turnovers: Over their last five games, the Bucks have averaged 17.1 turnovers per game. While they’ve gotten away with high turnover games, Skiles knows Saturday the Bucks will lose if they turn it over against Miami.
“They’re the best there is in converting those turnovers into fast points,” Skiles said. “And they can get it rolling real quick if you aren’t careful with the ball.”
Advantage Bucks?: Miami plays Friday night in Detroit and the Bucks will be well-rested.
Does this give Milwaukee a leg up? Don’t count on it. The Heat are actually at their best when playing on consecutive nights. Miami averages more points per game in second games of back-to-backs than it does when it’s rested and is 4-0 in those games.
Harris set to return: Bucks forward Tobias Harris fully participated in practice Friday and has been upgraded to probable for Saturday.
Harris been out since he suffered a laceration on his right elbow when he was hit on a drive to the hoop by Kings guard Francisco Garcia in Milwaukee’s 98-85 win on Dec. 12. If Harris is able to go Saturday, the Bucks will be fully healthy for the first time this season, and Skiles will have to make two healthy players inactive for the first time, as well.