One thing we’ve become accustomed to on the topic of the Miami Heat over the past two seasons has been injuries.
Injuries are something that every team must cope with and overcome, but there haven’t been as many teams dealing with injuries as significant as the Heat since the creation of the ‘Big Three’. Dwyane Wade is coming off an injury-riddled season, Chris Bosh was forced to miss nine postseason games last year, Mike Miller will probably end his career with significant back problems and Udonis Haslem faced obscurity last season after the effects of torn ligaments in his foot wore on.
Even the Heat’s newest acquisitions have been dealing with ailments; Ray Allen didn’t look near like himself in last year’s postseason because of a sore ankle and Rashard Lewis has been ineffective the past two seasons with knee problems.
As the Heat embark on a journey that will feature them attempting to defend a title for the first time in the ‘Big Three’ era, they will also be dealing with ailments heading into the season for a third consecutive season. This time around, however, the Heat are dealing with two ailing starters, including a member of the ‘Big Three’.
We take a look at the most recent news surrounding injuries and the recovery of each player:
Knowing Dwyane Wade needed surgery for the first time in four years was a scary occurrence, especially when you consider just how necessary it was. Wade still averaged 22.8 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists per, but shot well-below his usual percentages–converting only 46 percent of his shots. His virtually ineffective series against Boston was a telling sign that Wade wasn’t as healthy as he could have been, even though the Celtics made it a purpose to double-team Dwyane.
The Celtics may have been throwing double-teams at Wade, but considering he averaged 33.2 points per on an inferior Heat team against a superior Boston team in the 2010 postseason, it was obvious to see that Dwyane was in need of treatment.
Wade underwent surgery on his left knee on July 9th. It was described as a cleaning and recovery time was set from 6-to-8 weeks. However, the recovery prolonged and forced Dwyane into missing the Heat’s first preseason game against Atlanta. He would make his debut in a win over the Clippers and recently played only seven minutes in the team’s loss to Los Angeles a few nights later.
From the Wade camp, the perennial All-Star appears to be ahead of schedule and should be featured in the team’s Thursday preseason matchup with the Detroit Pistons.
This has become one of the more intriguing stories of the Heat’s training camp thus far.
It’s a peculiar topic because nothing was made of Mario Chalmers and his sore quadriceps heading into training camp; all the injury talk was designated to Wade, Bosh, Allen and Lewis. We had no idea that Chalmers was dealing with an injury so significant that it would cause him to miss the Heat’s first three preseason games and put his start in the team’s October 30th opener in jeopardy.
That’s not something the Heat would like to have. Norris Cole’s turnovers problems have been put on full display in preseason and it’s causing the Heat to miss Chalmers and his ability to consistently convert from deep and not forcing the issue of fitting the ball in places where it doesn’t fit.
Chalmers recently played on a limited basis in the team’s first workout since returning from China.
Another unexpected scratch in the first three games has been Udonis Haslem, who is regarded as returning to his original form prior to a foot injury he suffered in November 2010.
Outside of the scrimmage, however, we haven’t seen much of Haslem. Word is that he’s recovering from a quad injury and is quoted as being ready for the team’s Thursday matchup with Detroit. The injury is nothing significant, as Haslem describes it as “a little tightness.”
The Heat’s famed shot-blocker found himself out of the Heat’s Finals rotation last year. He isn’t exactly getting back into the good graces of the coaching staff by missing two preseason games, and playing in 11 seconds in the first game, either.
Joel has been dealing with a hamstring injury and there has been no official word on the extent of it, although we perceive it to be minor with the talk around it being limited.
A player who truly needed the preseason to create some sort of encouragement from the coaching staff, Dexter Pittman has been sidelined the past two games with a toe injury.
Pittman didn’t exactly show much progress in the preseason game he did play against Atlanta, where he registered three points, four rebounds, two turnovers and four personal fouls in 18 minutes. The most obvious problem there being the fact that he was in foul trouble–a main reason why he didn’t see playing time last year.
There’s no word on his progress.