MIAMI – “Time to get better..#gymflow”
That was the tweet from Dwyane Wade at 10:53 p.m. ET on Monday night, around the time the Oklahoma City Thunder were building a 15-point, fourth-quarter lead on his television.
Wade’s team is up 2-1 in the Eastern Conference finals, but he’s coming off a relatively pedestrian performance in Game 3, when he scored 17 points on 6-for-17 shooting. Thanks to Chris Bosh, the Heat didn’t need a big game from Wade, but every game in this series has been completely different. And in Game 4 on Tuesday (8:30 p.m. ET, TNT), it may be Wade’s turn to step up.
So rather than watch the Thunder cruise to an easy victory in the other series, Wade headed back to the gym to get some shots in.
It’s not an uncommon occurrence. Wade said Tuesday that he’s done some late-night shooting during each of the Heat’s playoff series thus far. And the morning of Game 5 against the Celtics, a restless LeBron James was in the gym at 4 a.m. What followed 18 hours later was one of James’ greatest moments as a professional, as he closed out Boston with a personal, 10-0 run.
Wade won’t guarantee a big game on Tuesday. He says that, when he goes in for one of these sessions, the next-day results are mixed. But on Monday night, he felt it was the right thing to do.
“I just want to give myself an opportunity and a chance when I get into the game tonight to know that, even if I miss the shots, I took those same shots over and over again,” he said. “So I’m confident, whether they go in or not, I’m confident in them. So, I’m just trying to get my edge.”
No matter what happens in this series or beyond, Wade knows he’ll be on vacation in a few weeks. If he’s upset about missing the Mavs’ epic comeback in Game 4, the Heat’s video staff can surely get him a tape.
“This is our job right now,” he said. “Everyone was asleep. So it gave me the opportunity for me to say, ‘You know what, let me try to get better at my job.’ This is what’s important right now for us. Besides my kids, there’s really nothing else that’s more important at this point. So I took care of that, helped them with their homework, and then took care of the basketball side.”