Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Milwaukee Bucks have put forth a good effort, but they have proven no match for the Miami Heat in the NBA Playoffs. But one thing that could slow down the Heat’s march towards a championship repeat is Dwyane Wade’s knee.
Wade dealt with knee problems during last year’s championship run, but he still managed to play through the pain enough to get the Heat over the proverbial hump. But Thursday night, Wade was obviously in pain throughout much of the game.
Wade’s statline showed something was wrong. He shot 1-12 in the game and recorded six turnovers, but he still contributed in a big way grabbing nine rebounds and handing out 11 assists along with snatching five steals.
Still, Wade said he’s nowhere near where he want to be.
“I’m not even close. I’m still able to push through certain things,” Wade told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “We played a good game. I wasn’t feeling great tonight. I’m not worries about. I’m not going to cry. I’ve got two days off, so hopefully it’ll be better for Game 4.”
Finishing off the Bucks on Sunday could go a long way towards helping Wade get closer to where he wants to be in the playoffs. If the Heat finish off the Bucks on Sunday and Brooklyn can come back to tie its series with Chicago; the Heat could have as much as a week off if things fall into place.
Miami has been boosted as of late by the play of backup shooting guard Ray Allen. The sharpshooting star broke the record for most three-pointers made in the playoffs in a career this week. He led the team with 23 points in Game 3 as five Heat players scored in double-figures.
If Allen can stay healthy, it will ease the load on Wade in the first two rounds. The Heat also have Mike Miller and James Jones waiting in the wings if need be in the next few games if Wade needs to rest more.
Still, Miami will need Wade likely starting in the Eastern Conference Finals against the New York Knicks or Indiana Pacers.