A: The injury happened so close to the end of the season that there wasn't time to get it fully right. Ten days off should work wonders. If not, then we could be looking at maintenance throughout the postseason.
APRIL 30, 2013
Q: Hey Ira, I am really worried about Dwyane Wade's injury. Even though he will have a week off to rest his knee, it might come back again and we need him against the Bulls. Without him, the Heat will lose to the Bulls, considering how well the Bulls have played so far in these playoffs, and they have the blueprint to beat the Heat. What's your take? Thanks. -- Shawn
A: Dwyane could have played Sunday, he just wasn't needed. Nine days off should cure most bruises. This is not a case, like last season's playoffs, of needing to have the knee drained or follow-up surgery. Dwyane sat Sunday because his teammates put him in a position where he could. And while the Bulls can be imposing, the Heat have most of their rotation players playing at the top of their game, save, perhaps, for Shane Battier's shooting struggles and Mario Chalmers' inconsistency.
Q: You said a couple of times here that Ray Allen's best is yet to come, that it would come in the playoffs. You were so right. -- Habib, Calgary.
A: It's who Ray Allen is, a big-moment player. Erik Spoelstra did a terrific job of measuring Ray's minutes during the regular season so he could be ready for moments like this. With the way Ray played against the Bucks, I think the why-not-Mike-Miller-instead chorus has been muted.
Q: The Heat might have won another championship in 2005 if they had more depth. Pat Riley and Micky Arison have learned. -- Stuart.
A: And yet it will be interesting to see how Arison handles spending on a support system going forward. While he is a fan of success, he also has a reputation to uphold as a successful and prudent businessman.
APRIL 29, 2013
Q: It is only appropriate that the Heat were the first team to advance to the second round of the 2013 NBA playoffs. The Heat took care of business. That is a sign of maturity. -- Stuart.
A: The fact that they were joined hours later by the Spurs, as the only teams at this point to advance, says plenty about teams that have far greater designs than merely a first-round series. Yes, the Heat had a few uneven moments against the Bucks, but there never was doubt at the end of any of the four games. Right now, Heat-Spurs is looking like where this all is headed. Figure both coaches actually will play their regulars if that happens.
Q: Ira, I live near Chicago (unfortunately) and have to deal with nothing but obnoxious Bulls fans year-round. My worst sports nightmare would be Chicago upsetting Miami in the second round. What do you think is the possibility of this actually happening? -- Jake.
A: I would never, ever assume anything against a team coached by Tom Thibodeau, who not only gets his players to run through walls, but commands respect to the point where his players then would stay to clean up the mess. And then there is the whole Derrick Rose thing. Even if Rose is limited, he and Nate Robinson would at least give an offensively challenged team a pair of potential streak scorers.
Q: Once again, Udonis Haslem quietly does his job. -- Steve.
A: When he's hitting that midrange jumper, it opens up so much in the offense. And he was very aggressive in the paint against a Bucks roster with plenty of length. Keeping him in the starting lineup proved prudent by Erik Spoelstra.
APRIL 28, 2013