How The Miami Heat Are Managing Dwyane Wade’s Minutes

Oct 25, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade (3) reacts during a game against the Brooklyn Nets at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Dwyane Wade has already sat out one game with sore knees. In the other two games, his knees haven’t looked very sore as he played 36 and 38 minutes.

Wade’s health, specifically his knees, was a hot topic going into the season. So far, Wade has looked just fine in his first two appearances with 34 points on 10-25 shooting, nine rebounds and seven assists. Not great, but fine.

With Wade seemingly breaking down in the playoffs last season, save for a few games, many believed Wade would see more rest during games. However, Wade playing 36 minutes in a win against the Chicago Bulls and 38 minutes in Friday night’s loss to the Brooklyn Nets hardly seems like rest. He played no minutes at all, though, in the loss to the Philadelphia 76ers due to sore knees.

I believed that Spoelstra would cut back on Wade’s minutes, maybe capping him out around 32. But instead, Wade has played near his career average in the two games he did play, but sat out with a rest-based injury in the other.

Is this the strategy head coach Erik Spoelstra is using in regards to tempering the usage of Wade? Or is three games not enough to get a good read?

I can see the reasoning here. Maybe when Spoelstra does play Wade, he wants all of Wade. Why try to limit one of the best players in the game when he is, indeed, in the game? Giving Wade nights off might be a better way to keep him fresh.

It has only been three games and the two games he did play were against Eastern Conference contenders while the one he didn’t play was against an Andrew Wiggins contender. So, is Spoelstra going to sit Wade against lesser competition, or will he sit wade x times in x games? I guess we will find out.

Oct 30, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Miami Heat guard Ray Allen (34) shoots during the first quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

In related news, Ray Allen said he would like to get the start when Wade is not playing, according to Ethan Skolnick of Bleacher Report.

Roger Mason Jr. got the start in the place of Wade against Philadelphia but only played 15 minutes and scored just 3 points. Allen came off the bench but played 28 minutes and scored 19 points. Allen has played 26 to 29 minutes in each of the Heat’s three games and is averaging 14 points per game. He probably should get the start in the future when Wade is out.

The Heat will play the Washington Wizards in Miami at 6 p.m. ET Sunday.

What do you think about how Spoelstra is handling Wade so far this season? Let us know in the comments below!

Topics: Dwyane Wade, Erik Spoelstra, Miami Heat, Ray Allen

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