MILWAUKEE — Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade won’t start Sunday’s Game 4 against the Milwaukee Bucks because of a sore right knee and a forearm injury.
Wade will be active, but Mike Miller will start in his place as Miami tries to complete the four-game sweep of the first-round NBA playoff series. The Heat are 15-2 without Wade in the lineup this season.
The nine-time All-Star has been getting extensive treatment on three bone bruises around his right kneecap and on his forearm at Marquette University over the past two days. Wade was held out of Saturday afternoon’s practice at the Al McGuire Center on Marquette’s campus.
Wade, 31, tested the injuries on the court at the BMO Harris Bradley Center with Miami assistant coaches Bob McAdoo and David Fizdale about an hour before Game 4’s tip-off and appeared to be just as bothered by the forearm as he was by the knee.
It was a struggle offensively in Game 3 for Wade on Thursday. He shot 1 for 12 from the field with four points and six turnovers. Though he was clearly not 100 percent, Wade still had five steals, nine rebounds and 11 assists in 36 minutes.
The knee injury caused Wade to miss six games at the end of the regular season and has bothered him ever since. His scoring average has dropped from 21.2 in the regular season to 13.7 in the postseason.
If the Heat do complete the sweep, Wade will have at least a few days of rest before Miami would start the Eastern Conference semifinals against either Chicago or Brooklyn.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra opted to start Miller in place of Wade, leaving Ray Allen in his usual bench role. Miller made 17 starts for Miami during the regular season, averaging 4.8 points per game. The 12-year veteran had played in only one game this postseason, playing just two minutes and missing all three of his shots in Miami’s Game 2 victory.