Saturday, May 19, 2012
Dwyane Wade: Heat over spat
By Brian Windhorst ESPN.com
INDIANAPOLIS -- Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade and coach Erik Spolestra both attempted to downplay their fiery exchange in the team huddle Thursday night as they attempt to focus on a vital Game 4 against the Indiana Pacers on Sunday.
After canceling practice and ordering players not even to go to the gym for individual shooting on Friday, Spoelstra and Wade were on the practice court Saturday saying it was business as usual. During a timeout during the third quarter of the Pacers' 94-75 Game 3 victory, Wade broke away from Spoelstra during a conversation and told his coach to "get out of my face." Several teammates then tried and failed to calm Wade down.
Eastern Conference Playoffs
Get all the news and commentary on the Heat-Pacers matchup on ESPN.com's matchup page.
"Our communication sometimes is not for everyone's living room but it's normal in our living room," Spoelstra said. "That's the least of our concerns the last few days. We're down 2-1 (in the series), that's taking all of our energy."
Coming off the confrontation and the worst playoff game of his career -- going 2 of 13 from the floor with five points and five turnovers -- Wade has taken a beating from fans over the past two days for his play and his behavior on the bench.
After initially refusing to talk about the episode after the game, Wade did acknowledge it Saturday and also said he'd put it behind him.
"There's no harm done," Wade said. "We move on from it; I don't know if everyone else does."
With an off day on Friday, Wade made the drive to Bloomington, Ind., to spend the day with Indiana coach Tom Crean, who was Wade's college coach for three years at Marquette. Wade watched some Hooisers players work out and then took a tour of campus.
Wade said his former coach had some words of advice for him in dealing with his current situation.
"One thing you learn when you're in front of the public eye (is) a lot of people are going to send you their opinions," Wade said.
"You always listen to the ones who have been in the flight with you before. (Crean) knows me from when I was 18 and an emotional kid. When I had my good days and my bad days, he was there. He's a mentor and he's a father figure and he's my coach. It is always good to be able to spend time with him and hear a different side."
Wade also has been dealing with some lingering left leg issues and the Heat are hoping the two days before between playoff games will help him feel better.
Wade continued to decline to talk about what is bothering him directly but admits it's something he has to fight through at the moment. He's shooting only 31 percent in the series.
"Each day is it's own; you adjust certain nights and certain nights you don't," Wade said. "I have no other choice but to trust (my body). I don't question anything about my abilities. I've had times where I haven't felt great physically and I have to beat you with my mind. At this point it is about being a complete player and helping your team other ways."