|LeBron James is a gametime decision with flu-like symptoms and Dwyane Wade is out vs. the Lakers Thursday (Getty Images)|
LeBron James was sent home from Heat practice Thursday morning with flu-like symptoms and Dwyane Wade will not play vs. the Los Angeles Lakers Thursday night, via the AP:
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra says guard Dwyane Wade's status remains day-to-day with a sprained right ankle. Wade will not play Thursday night.via James sent home from shootaround with illness, Wade day-to-day - NBA - CBSSports.com News, Rumors, Scores, Stats, Fantasy Advice.
It's the second straight game Wade has missed with the ankle problem and the fifth overall missed because of injuries so far this season. Wade sat out three games earlier this month with a sore left foot.
James has been battling flu-like symptoms for much of this week.
James was suffering from the same ailment during Tuesday night's game against the San Antonio Spurs. James started off struggling in that game, missing several layups. Then the second half came and apparently someone got a fluids treatment, because James started dropping three-pointers like the bucket was a hula-hoop. He wound up scoring 33 points along with five rebounds and 10 assists, because he's a freak of nature like that.
But with him missing practice, you have to wonder if he'll be well enough to even make it to the court, and if so, how effective he'll be against the Lakers' quality wing defenders. With James not at full strength and Wade out, the Lakers have to be expected to win in Miami for a big road win, no matter the circumstances.
Expect for there to be one zillion references to "the flu game" of Michael Jordan, his Game 5 effort in the 1997 Finals, between now and tonight's game. Unfortunately, as nearly everyone is aware, LeBron James is not Michael Jordan, no one is Michael Jordan, this is not the Finals, and any effort at all on James' part will be hindered by the physical effects of his illness.
Huge break for the Lakers.
Mike Brown said Thursday at practice that he has no doubt James will play. Via the AP:
"When you talk about great players like him, those guys even though they're sick or a little injured or whatever, they find a way to perform at a high level," Lakers coach Mike Brown, one of James' former coaches with the Cleveland Cavaliers, said Thursday afternoon. "I don't think it's any different for LeBron."And Chris Bosh summed up how most people will regard the Heat's situation against the Laker:
"The show still goes on," Heat forward Chris Bosh said. "We're still going to expect to win."