Things are finally looking up for the Heat: Pat Riley will return after the All-Star break, Shaq is back (five blocks last night), and the reigning NBA champs are back to .500 after a 104-85 win over the TrailBlazers last night. The hero, unsurprisingly, was a fellow by the name of Dwyane Wade, who returned from a shoulder injury and played like he was trying to get into Charles Barkley's 5, outscoring the Blazers by himself in the 4th quarter (16-15).
Wade hurt his shoulder — he called it a hyperextension and said he heard a pop — with 9:36 left in the third quarter. He drove past [Jarrett] Jack and went airborne, collided with [Joel] Przybilla and immediately began writhing in pain once he hit the ground. Once he got up, he quickly headed for the Heat locker room.
I already know what you're thinking, and it's not nice. I watched the video, and Wade did actually get fouled — there's video at the link above; you can watch it yourself. Listen, people, I like "That gust of air fouled Dwyane Wade" jokes as much as the next guy, but when a dude scores almost half of his 35 points in the quarter after falling several feet onto his shoulder, it's time to scale back our criticism of the favoritism Wade receives from the refs, and give him some credit for the daring athleticism he displays every night.
Or, as my ex-girlfriend once said, "I'd go down on him, and I don't even like black guys." Yes. Well said, Lola. I can't believe we're not still together. Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!