Dwyane Wade will play for Heat in showdown with Pacers
Miami will have its three best players on the court Tuesday night at Indiana.
About 90 minutes before tip-off between the Eastern Conference’s two best teams, coach Erik Spoelstra said Wade would play.
The 6-foot-4 guard went through a 20-minute workout before a final decision was made, but Wade said there was never any doubt in his mind that he would play.
"I missed the last game because it was a back-to-back and we had two days off, so I was playing the whole time," he said.
There were some questions about Wade’s availability after he missed the team’s morning shootaround at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, and Spoelstra added to the intrigue by playing it coy.
Following the workout, Spoelstra said he expected everyone to play for the two-time defending NBA champs but that he wouldn’t put it in ink until 45 minutes before tip-off. By pregame warm-ups, Spoelstra had his answer.
"He was able to get a good workout in and he will go," Spoelstra said during his regular pregame availability.
Wade has missed six games this season, including three of the past four, primarily to keep his troublesome knees healthy.
The Heat (15-6) will be missing one potentially key player, forward Michael Beasley who will miss another game because of a left hamstring injury. Spoelstra said Beasley was "getting close" but would not play.
Meanwhile, the Pacers (18-3) were dealing with their own injury update.
After their morning shootaround, forward Danny Granger told reporters he was hopeful he could make his season debut Friday night against Charlotte.
Granger has missed all 21 games because of a strained left calf as his teammates grabbed the top spot in the Eastern Conference and entered Tuesday’s game with the league’s best record.
Granger’s comments came shortly after coach Frank Vogel said there was no timetable for Granger’s return.
When asked about the discrepancy during his pregame availability, Vogel downplayed it.
"He wants to play, he wants to play," Vogel said. "It’s news that he said it to the media, but I know he wants to play."