Look at it like this – the 22-29 Miami Heat don’t exactly deserve two All-Stars anyway. The team announced today that Dwyane Wade will not participate in Sunday’s marquee event due to a hamstring strain that’s sidelined him since late last month.
Despite practicing in full today, Wade won’t travel with Miami for Wednesday’s game against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, either. In his first session with the media since sustaining the injury on January 27, Wade echoed the long-standing company line that patience is prudent to ensure not just his long-term health, but also the Heat’s future success:
The three-time champion has missed six games as a result of this latest malady. Wade also sat-out seven games in November after suffering a similar injury to his left hamstring. The Heat are 7-9 when he’s been sidelined this season.
This news is hardly surprising. It’s been assumed that Wade would be out until the All-Star break ever since Miami indicated that he would miss an “extended period” shortly after he went down in Milwaukee. So though Heat fans are undoubtedly disappointed that their hero won’t play on Sunday night, it’s still an encouraging sign of Wade’s status that he’s healthy enough to practice without restriction. Expect to see the 32 year-old back in the lineup in his team’s game on February 20 – against the Knicks in New York City, coincidentally.
But this is bigger than Wade and Miami alone. His absence opens up a roster spot on the Eastern Conference All-Star squad, one which we’ve always maintained should go to the Atlanta Hawks’ Kyle Korver. It’s been rumored that Commissioner Adam Silver is also considering the Milwaukee Bucks’ Brandon Knight as Wade’s injury replacement, though, and the vastly improved 23 year-old would be a worthy selection, too.
After all, the NBA world seems to finally understand just how dominant Atlanta has been in 2014-2015. Shouldn’t the Bucks’ equally surprising performance get a national stage in NYC? Milwaukee is currently without any All-Stars, while the Hawks’ Al Horford, Paul Millsap, and Jeff Teague were named reserves two weeks ago.
Either way, we certainly won’t be seeing Wade. And while that’s a strange reality considering his 10-year string of appearances in the mid-season show, it’s hardly a bad thing for a player to take a cautious approach to injury and the viewing public to get a look at less heralded stars.
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