Dwyane Wade: The Revival
On the heels of winning the 2012 NBA Championship, HEAT guard Dwyane Wade passed on the opportunity to win a second-straight gold medal with the USA Men’s Olympic Basketball team and chose to have surgery to repair his left knee. Wade made the sacrifice in order to be at his best coming into the 2012-13 NBA season.
Overlooking the process that follows a rigorous procedure such as knee surgery, the basketball world was immediately expecting to see the Wade that they once knew. Despite the 10-year NBA veteran’s slow start, he maintained a focus on the bigger picture.
“We're focusing on what we need to do,” said Wade. “The only attention we're thinking about is giving each other the attention we need as a team, and making sure that everyone in here knows how important they are to our success.”
Even though he scored a game-high 29 points to lead Miami to a 120-107 win against Boston in the season opener, Wade’s knee was still not at 100 percent and the process of rehabilitation continued. His statistics increased from November to December. His field goal percentage went from 46.6 to 54.7 percent, while his per game scoring average went from 17.0 points to 22.0 points per game. HEAT Head Coach Erik Spoelstra understood the process of rehabilitation and praised Wade’s progress.
"We knew he just needed some more time," Spoelstra said. “Offensively, you see him attacking the rim, you see him able to get into small cracks in the defense, where he makes it look easy but it's not.”
Steadily getting back to his former self, Wade shot a career-high 51.9 percent from field goal range and led the league, amongst shooting guards, in that category.
"The way he's playing as of late…. has shown what he's capable of doing," said teammate LeBron James. "He's one of the best players in the league."
"I think I've been kind of ahead of schedule all year long,” Wade said. “But early on, coming off the knee injury, it was tough. I was feeling good some days and some I didn't. But right now, it's been consistent, and I've been doing everything I can to make sure that my body is doing all the extra work I need to do to make sure I give myself a chance.”
Stats are current as of April 16th and provided by HEAT.com.