Monday , Nov , 05 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Miami Heat Can’t Rush Dwyane Wade’s Return, Pat Riley Addresses Jason Williams’ Selfish Comment

Right now, the Heat is playing with fire. And, no, I’m not referring to their 0-3 start to the 2007-08 campaign.

Wade’s long-term health is more significant than this season; after all, he’s Miami’s superstar and an elite NBA player. Rushing him back from off-season surgeries will lead to other injuries and long-term damage …

Ira Winderman of The Florida Sun-Sentinel blogs on Dwyane Wade’s health:

Dwyane Wade wouldn’t be pinned down on a return date, after Monday’s full-contact practice, his first since May knee and shoulder surgeries.

He did, though, offer perspective on where he stands, by noting that he has needed two days off recently to recover from four consecutive days of practice.

Still, after taking a few jolts from backup center Joel Anthony, figure on Wade pushing up his timetable, even as Shaquille O’Neal puts his teammate as being three weeks away.                      

My Quick Take: Right now, the Heat is playing with fire. And, no, I’m not referring to their 0-3 start to the 2007-08 campaign.

Wade’s long-term health is more significant than this season; after all, he’s Miami’s superstar and an elite NBA player. Rushing him back from off-season surgeries will lead to other injuries and long-term damage.

For example, last year, ‘Flash’ pushed up his return from injury for the Heat’s post-season run. This was pointless.  Wade and Miami struggled, getting swept by Chicago in the first round of the playoffs.

Instead of skipping the 2006-07 post-season and being well-rested for this year, Wade added wear-and-tear to his body. Now he’s missing more time.

The Heat’s problems complicate things. They’ve lost sixteen straight games going back to last year. And Wade, as leader, feels responsible.

But caution must take precedence over Wade’s immediate desire to play. He should only return when fully healthy and then Miami can evaluate Shaq and their team.

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Meanwhile, Coach Pat Riley addresses Jason Williams calling his teammates selfish after last Friday’s loss:

"Right now, a lot of guys are self-willed. Shaq wants to do it. J-Will wants to do it. Ricky wants to do it. Everybody wants to do the right thing. Daequan wants to do it. No, we’re not a selfish team. It’s just a team that’s not together right now."

My Quick Take: Riley is right. His players are doing too much as individuals, but nobody is intentionally trying to get theirs at the expense of team goals. There’s a difference.

After all, Ricky Davis is new. Rookie Daequan Cook is adjusting to ‘The League’. Even veterans- like Shaq, Williams, and Wade-must re-establish chemistry after missing significant portions of last year. Time is needed for the parts to fit back together.

So what to make of Williams’ statement? The baller formerly known as White Chocolate probably spoke out of frustration. No big deal. This isn’t Sacramento, part deux. Williams is a different player and person, earning Hubie Brown’s respect in Memphis and quarterbacking the 2005-06 Heat to an NBA Title.

When should Wade return? What do you think of Williams calling his teammates selfish?  Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts.

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