MIAMI – The Miami Heat will have to stretch the second best winning streak in NBA history to 26 games without the services of All-Star guard Dwyane Wade, who will sit out tonight’s game against Charlotte with a sore right knee.
Veteran shooting guard Mike Miller will start in Wade’s place against the Bobcats, the team with the worst record in the NBA this season.
Wade is the second member of Miami’s Big 3 to miss time during the streak, which began Feb. 3 in Toronto. Chris Bosh, celebrating his 29th birthday today, missed back-to-back games (Feb. 6 against Houston and Feb. 8 against the Los Angeles Clippers) with the flu.
Working without Wade, however, changes the dynamics for the Heat, who use the two-man dynamic between Wade and LeBron James as a catalyst routinely.
With a game Monday in Orlando, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra decided to rest Wade now rather than push it with a four-game road trip coming up this week.
“We have talked about it all year long,” Spoelstra said. “It’s not easy for these guys. They do a tremendous amount of work behind the scenes to keep not only their bodies ready but mentally staying in it. The toughest thing about it is you don’t know when your number is going to be called. Our top nine and 10 is pretty set right now. The other guys know at some point we are going to need them, and need them at key times, so they have to keep themselves ready and do a lot of work behind the scenes.”