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Dwyane Wade needed extensive knee treatments during playoffs

By Matt Moore | NBA writer

Dwyane Wade sat down for an interview wth the Associated Press on Saturday and talked about exactly what kind of condition he was in for the last two playoff series with a severe bone bruise in his right knee. It was evident Wade was limited based on his play, but the extent to which Wade needed treatment to keep going is startling. It got so bad, Wade was ready to take a smaller role for the team:

In an interview with The Associated Press, Wade revealed Saturday that his right knee pained him so much that he contemplated asking to play limited minutes in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals, and that his left knee was drained and required about eight hours of game-day therapy just so he could play in Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

"I went through a lot," said Wade, who's now a three-time NBA champion. "But I'm at peace now."

Wade also received platelet-rich plasma therapy late in the regular season to combat three bone bruises around his right knee, which was his biggest source of frustration and pain during the playoffs. Wade said two of the bruises healed, but a third — directly under the kneecap — remained a big problem, especially since that area was also affected by tendinitis.

Wade underwent an MRI to rule out additional problems during the East finals against Indiana, and said he was driving to a meeting with Heat coach Erik Spoelstra before Game 7 of that series — not long after saying in the immediate aftermath of the Game 6 loss to the Pacers that he needed the ball more — to tell him that he felt he should only play short minutes because his ineffectiveness was hurting the team.

Spoelstra had other ideas, and Wade decided to scrap his plan.

"I felt like if I was going to be playing the way I was playing, and hurting the way I was hurting, I wasn't going to be able to help us move on to the next round," Wade said. "I was going to say play me short minutes only, and give Mike Miller and other guys opportunities. But I came into the meeting, and all Spo was about was giving me more opportunities and getting me ways to be more successful. So I was like, 'Well, changed my mind.'"

via Wade needed knee drained to play Game 7 of Finals.

So to recap:

  • Platelet-rich plasma therapy
  • Constant treatment.
  • Wraps involving moving his kneecap to the side in order to lock things in place and prevent contact with the bruise.
  • Nearly took a smaller role with the offense.
  • Knee drained the day before Game 7 of the Finals on Thursday night.
  • Eight hours (8 hours) of treatment before Game 7.
That's an insane amount of treatment that would have knocked anyone else out. Wade was still a shell of himself, particularly in Game 6, in which he and Manu Ginobili battled over who would leave a worse lasting impression of how age and injury had taken their ability from them. But in Game 7, just like in Game 4, Wade was able to overcome, and finished with 23 points (on 21 shots) and 10 rebounds. He also put constant pressure on the Spurs with his aggressiveness and post moves. He gave much better effort than he had been able to all series and closed out on shooters with abandon.
Even with the inefficiency, it was a remarkable performance overshadowed by the brilliance of LeBron James. Wade finished with a -7.8 net efficiency rating (points scored vs. allowed per 100 minutes with him on the floor) in the Finals.

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