Dwyane Wade will miss his first game of the season in order to rest a sore left hamstring when the Miami Heat face off against the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night.
Wade told reporters at the morning shootaround that he would be sitting out as a precaution at this early point of the season. The injury was likely sustained during the Heat’s loss to the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday, in which Wade led the team with 20 points.
"Tonight, I’m not playing. It’s as simple as that," he said. "It’s just not smart for me to try and push it."
The Heat (5-3) and their longtime starting shooting guard have enjoyed a solid start to the season in the wake of losing LeBron James via free agency over the summer. Wade is averaging 19.8 points, a team-leading 6.4 assists and 3.5 rebounds in 32.4 minutes played.
Wade missed a total of 28 games last season, primarily to rest his troublesome knees, in what was commonly referred to as a maintenance program designed to keep him healthy for what was expected to be a deep playoff run.
Friday’s game against the Hawks comes during a stretch of three games in five nights. It includes a back-to-back set — Miami’s fourth already this season — scheduled for Sunday at home against the Milwaukee Bucks and Monday on the road versus the Brooklyn Nets.