Dwyane Wade coping with sore knees, free-throw woes

MIAMI — Being in great overall condition hasn’t made Dwyane Wade immune to in-game struggles or the effects of an 11-year career.

The Miami Heat star is dealing with sore knees and a low free-throw percentage through the season’s first 10 games.

After enduring knee injuries the previous two seasons, Wade has tried to be proactive in protecting his legs and making sure he’s ready come playoff time.

He would have sat out Saturday’s win at Charlotte — the second of two games in two nights — if not for Miami being shorthanded due to the absences of Ray Allen (illness), Udonis Haslem (back spasms) and Mario Chalmers, who was suspended for committing a second Flagrant 2 foul agains the Mavericks a night earlier.

“With Rio going out, that made my decision harder — I wasn’t planning on playing on that back-to-back, but I did,” Wade said. “You just continue to learn and understand that my knee wasn’t ready for that after playing a lot of minutes (against Dallas) the night before.

“It’s a day-to-day process. It’s a long season so I have a ‘long’ mindset and I’ll try to move on from there and try to get back to feeling good.”

Wade, 31, has undergone shockwave treatment on his knees. It’s a therapy he also used for tendinitis in 2007.

Miami’s Rashard Lewis also has experience using shockwave on his knees.

“It’s great to have a teammate who has gone through it in recent years to talk to to say, ‘What the hell is going on?’ ” Wade said. “He kind of gave me a little information of feeling the same way and give you a little help as well.”

There’s no medicinal cure for foul-line woes. Wade is shooting 61.2 percent (30 of 49) from the free-throw line after a career low 72.5 percent last season.

Wade was the last Heat player to leave the court Monday, when he was seen finishing up the workout shooting free throws under the eye of Heat assistant Ron Rothstein.

“He saw me going to shoot free throws and he came over,” Wade said. “It was good to make a lot, and when I did something wrong, for him to point it out.”

Wade, a career 76.5 percent foul shooter, remembered shooting 69 percent from the line in his first year at Marquette.

“I just feel like I’m not in rhythm up there,” he said. “I’m just trying to get it back. I don’t think I ever shot this low in my life.”

Wade’s knees and foul-shooting are not the only issues Miami (7-3) has coped with recently. Haslem has been sidelined the past four games and Allen the past three.

“We’ve had to deal with some minor injury issues — every team has to go through it,” Spoelstra said. “That’s where we feel we’re strong, our depth.”

Haslem and Allen both were at practice Monday, though Spoelstra said their status for Tuesday’s home game against Atlanta would be a gamete decision.

“Ray looks better. The biggest gauge was after the workout today, he looked fine,” Spoelstra said. “After the shootaround on Saturday … he came into it looking good, then afterward you could see his facial expression. He did not look well, so I think he’s regaining his strength.

“We just have to see how they respond to today. They went through a rough practice. You can’t make that determination until you see how everybody responds after a night.”

Allen said he felt 100 percent but would know for sure on Tuesday night.

“Obviously playing the game will determine that,” Allen said. “I always say that when you go out there, you run up and down the floor and you really know whether you’re in great shape or terrible shape because being in front of the crowd playing other competition has a tendency to tell on you a little bit.”

Charlie McCarthy can be reached at mac1763@bellsouth.net or on Twitter @mccarthy_chas.