Heat Need 5 Questions Answered

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How will Dwyane Wade be managed by Erik Spoelstra?

Ah, the maintenance program. The Heat’s plan to keep Wade fresh for an extended postseason run. This was something Spoelstra could get away with, since the Heat had LeBron and  – at the very least – a clear path to the Eastern Conference Finals.

The road is much rockier now, and the Heat will need all hands on deck to get where they want to go. That means Wade is going to have to be on the court more often. Getting something close to 70 games might be unrealistic, but is something he’s going to have to target.

When Wade was on the court, he was one of the most efficient players in the league…and he’s a guard. He shot 54.5% from the field, while being tremendous around the basket. The days of the “Fall down seven times; get up eight” are in the past, as he has toned down the “flying down the lane/take a hard fall” style of play he had early in his career. He’s working on his jumper, which seems to be the natural progression for aggressive guards as they age, like Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. Ideally, he could extend it past the three-point line, but this appears to be something Wade hasn’t been fond of doing.

Wade can be lazy on defense, as he often jogs back down the court or spends too much time barking at the refs. But he can be crafty, as he can still pick off passes or get the occasional strip. He might not be able to guard James Harden or Damian Lillard, but there aren’t a lot of those guys to deal with in the East.