PHILADELPHIA – Dwyane Wade sat alone, wrapping her 36-year-old knees on ice long after the Miami Heat practiced Sunday afternoon at Temple University. The multitude of media covering the Heat seemed more focused on the virtual no-show of Hassan Whiteside in the first game of this playoff series against the 76ers and the adjustments the team would have to make to make this series competitive.
Wade & # 39; s miserable 19 The minutes in Game 1 were not even recorded as a significant story at this stage of his career. That's what he's been playing since he rejoined the Heat after a midseason trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Anything more than he could give them that was seen as an advantage, not something the Heat could count on.
The comrades of the television network Heat Alonzo Mourning and Juwan Howard approached him while he worked on his knees and stopped to talk. Wade will join them as Heat emeritus soon enough. Always welcome to the team, always to a part of the family … once they finished their gaming careers.
I asked him why he was wrapping his own knees on ice. The Heat has a lot of coaches for tasks like that. Wade laughed and said, "I like to do this myself."
After all, how many more times would you cover your knees with ice after a practice? No, if these are the last days of his career in the Basketball Hall of Fame, Wade is determined to do everything exactly the way it should be done.
This is how he approached Monday's game against the Sixers. The Heat brought him back to games like this: in a playoff series, needing a win at all costs and desperate for the kind of veteran leadership that the three-time NBA champion can provide.
Wade delivered a 28-point performance kick in 26 minutes off the bench to propel the Heat to a 113-103 victory and break the Sixers' 17-game winning streak.
"A lot of people think that if you decide to leave it's because you should not be able to play anymore, it's not always supposed to be that." Wade told ESPN after the game.
Wade said it will take some time after the season to decide whether to retire or return to the Heat for one more season.
"Take the time to think, that's all I do," Wade said. "Take the time to think and analyze all the angles and what is the best situation for me, that's all, it's very different, there are many different things that come into play."
If he returns for another season, he said he will only be a member of the Heat.
Wade already did, leaving the Heat two summers ago to sign with the Bulls. He signed with Cleveland this past fall after resolving a purchase of his contract in Chicago.
"I had my little college tour," joked Wade. "It's like a child whose parents do not want them to leave the state, but they leave anyway and go home."
"I feel that my experience was what I needed. I feel that it made me appreciate, it made the city of Miami appreciate everything. "
The city and the team definitely appreciated what Wade did on Monday night.
Dwyane Wade hits a change of shot with Robert Covington in the face.
Philadelphia led Game 2 up by nine points in the first quarter, but then Wade registered, and he only changed the game in the first half, surpassing Sixers by itself 21-20 during the last 15 minutes of the middle.
When Philadelphia made a 21-7 run in the fourth quarter to get close to two points with 4:29 to play in the contest, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra brought Wade from back from there, Wade immediately entered into more mode rcano:
A robbery of Philadelphia striker Darius Sar ic that led to a dunk.
A pass to a James Johnson court for a dunk on the next possession.
A key offensive rebound after a lost gore by Goran Dragic that led to a second-chance goal for Dragic, forcing a 76ers timeout with 2:25 to play and Miami for 104-96.
And then a 23-foot shot over Ben Simmons to seal the win with 47.9 seconds left, the comedian and Philadelphia native Kevin Hart afterwards.
You can not come to Miami … 💍🙅🏾♂️ https://t.co/HAHNZ4z1px
– DWade (@DwyaneWade) April 17, 2018
Dwyane Wade hits a good shot on Ben Simmons and then looks at Philly fan Kevin Hart on the bench.
"That's what defines Dwyane Wade," Spoelstra said. "We've seen that much earlier in his career, and he's not going to record the 40 minutes per game he used to do, but in these compact minutes, he can solve the group with his experience and his level of experience just to add a bit of calm to some of our youth.
"It was meant to be this kind of game for every minute tonight; I needed to get back and have one of those games. He has a great maturity and a great presence to understand that the next game could be different, and to facilitate, he will also. It was a very reassuring effect on the rest of our guys. "
Heat veteran Udonis Haslem sits in the locker next to Wade, and on Monday night, he marveled at the backing performance.
a guy who lives in moments, "said Haslem. When you think about the career you have had, there are those moments. And when we are in those moments, there is no other person who prefers to have my side with him. "
The Heat brought Wade nights like this, he is not fast enough to earn his old nickname, Flash. , his courage now is settling into the team, slowing things down and mentoring the younger players of the Heat.
"He's still one of the best players, but he holds everyone back," Heat forward Josh Richardson said. He has the ball, it's like he has his own rhythm, he never accelerates … I hope to get to that point someday. "
According to ESPN statistics and information research, Wade was 7 out of 8 in mid-range jerseys on Monday night and 11 of 16 in general. The only three defenses of the Sixers that could force him to fail were Saric (0-1), JJ Redick (1-4) and Marco Belinelli (2-3). Wade made the eight shots he took with other defenders of him, including the two shots over the Simmons 6-foot-10.
"I mean, he's my height, I have no idea how [Wade shoots over Simmons]" said the guard. Tyler Johnson heat of 6 feet and 4 feet tall. I think it's only years The experience of seeing it. They've thrown all kinds of defenses against him that I've ever been able to see. "
On this night, no defense, not even Father Time, was going to stop Dwyane Wade.