Wade has been rehabbing a sore right knee throughout the season and has missed six games. He sat out the Heat’s win Sunday in Detroit after playing 32 minutes in Saturday’s victory in Minnesota. Miami wraps up a four-game trip against the Pacers, who have the best record in the league.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said after the shootaround that everyone who has played during the road trip is available but that he would make his final decision on his starting lineup and rotation about an hour before the game. Spoelstra later told ESPN.com that the only player who is definitively ruled out of Tuesday’s game is center Greg Oden, an Indianapolis native who has yet to play this season. Oden continues to work his way into condition after a three-year layoff following multiple knee surgeries.
Heat center Chris Bosh told reporters that Wade did not participate in the morning workout. The Heat have also been without reserve forward Michael Beasley the past two games as he recovers from a strained left hamstring. Beasley left the shootaround without talking to reporters.
Tuesday’s game is the first meeting between the Heat and Pacers since Miami won Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals at home last season, then went on to win its second consecutive title.
While several Pacers players have talked about the game as a measuring stick against their biggest rival in the East, the Heat are approaching the matchup as an opportunity to finish the road trip with a productive performance. Miami lost to Chicago on Thursday to open the trip before beating Minnesota and Detroit by a combined 36 points.
The Heat have gone 3-3 in games Wade has missed this season.
“We’re looking at today, but looking forward to the playoffs and everything,” Bosh said. “We’re trying to make sure we’re always healthy. [The Pacers] are very eager. They want to treat this like a championship game, but it’s not. It’s a long season, and you have to take it in increments.”
Bosh was then told that Pacers guard Lance Stephenson said Tuesday that he would approach Tuesday’s game like the NBA Finals.
“It’s not a championship game; it’s the regular season,” Bosh said. “It’s the 20th game for us. Championship games, there’s no tomorrow. It’s tough to play like there’s no tomorrow when there is. We know they’re going to have their intensity. I’m sure they circled this date on the calendar a long time ago.”