Posted by Matt Moore
After missing the Heat's victory over Phoenix Thursday, Dwyane Wade said his "plan is to play" when the Heat meet the Lakers Thursday. Wade talked about the injury after practice on Friday. Via the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:
"My thought is always to play," he said, as ice was applied to the knee. "We want to face the Lakers with as many pieces as possible."via Miami Heat: Dwyane Wade hopeful of return from knee injury against Los Angeles Lakers - South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com .
But he also cautioned a return might not come at 100 percent.
"There's still swelling," he said. "It doesn't feel great, but it feels better than yesterday."
Wade tweeted Saturday morning that it was "a great day for basketball ."
The legion of people who loathe the Heat will cry that Wade is simply creating excuses in the face of a huge game, but it's not like Wade doesn't have a history of playing through injuries. And the Heat will need him at whatever percent they can get him. His impact defensively isn't as important because, honestly, if Kobe Bryant is feeling it, it doesn't really matter what you do. But the Heat are a vastly superior offensive team with Wade on the floor. Even with LeBron James on the floor, you need Wade to be the tip of the spear.
But limited by a knee is going to be problematic,as they need his penetration ability and speed on the perimeter. Without him, the Heat are going to be falling into the trap of pass-pass-pass mid-range-jumper. And that's not how you beat LA, ever. Wade is definitely the storyline to watch when the Heat and Lakers meet this afternoon. Ken Berger will have more from the game this afternoon.