We’re currently witnessing the third NBA season since Miami Heat legend Dwyane Wade called time on his Hall of Fame-worthy career.
However, during a recent interview with Ellen, Wade was posed with a question surrounding his potential return to the parquet, and of course, its likelihood.
“Absolutely not! I feel better when I wake up in the morning, my knees not hurting, my hips not hurting. I’m not stressing as much. It’s stressful tryna’ be good all the time. Once you reach a certain level, everybody expects you to be at that level all the time, and I’m 40, I ain’t the same,” Wade replied.
Funnily enough, even if Wade did decide to return to the Heat’s bench next season, he might not be the oldest member of the roster. Udonis Haslem is one year older than the Heat legend but has become a staple of the team’s bench unit due to the leadership he provides in the locker room.
Short-handed Heat Progress in Playoffs
Miami’s last championship came during Wade’s prime, one year before LeBron James left town to re-join the Cleveland Cavaliers. Since then, the Heat have continued to retool and rebuild and even came close to adding another banner during the 2019-20 season, when they lost in the NBA finals to James and the Los Angeles Lakers.
This season could be different, though. As the Heat are arguably the best team in the Eastern Conference and boast one of the best rosters in the NBA. There’s a fantastic mix of veteran talent and young potential to call upon. Jimmy Butler has been phenomenal since the start of the post-season, and Tyler Herro is the front runner for the Sixth Man of the Year award – which just goes to show the depth in talent at Erik Spoelstra’s disposal.
On Tuesday, April 26, the shorthanded Heat defeated the Atlanta Hawks to progress into the second round of this year’s playoffs, and assuming Butler and Lowry return to the rotation in the near future, have every chance of continuing their run towards another NBA finals appearance.
Victor Oladipo Helps Miami Past Hawks
Not many players have struggled as much as Victor Oladipo has in recent seasons. The scoring guard has bounced from injury to injury, and contract to contract, just waiting for the chance to prove he can still ball at a high level.
During the final game of the regular season, Oladipo exploded for 40 points against the Orlando Magic, which was a statement that the veteran guard can still put points up in a hurry now that he’s healthy again. Then, Oladipo was back on the bench, as the Heat shortened their rotations for the playoffs, but an injury to Kyle Lowry opened the door for the 29-year-old, and in his second game of the post-season, he grabbed his opportunity with both hands.
On April 26, Oladipo dropped 23 points on the Hawks, along with three assists, and three steals, to help his team close out their series despite missing two of their star players. Following his performance, Oladipo provided the media with an insight into his current mindset.
“It’s a blessing to be able to play the game I love, a year ago today I was expecting and waiting for my next surgery. I remember around this time last year, I was sitting in a dark room by myself and just broke down. Not because I quit, but because I was at the lowest point I could be at. And now, God has put me in the position I am today, and I’m grateful for it,” Oladipo told the media following his impressive performance.
The Heat will now wait on the Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors to finish their series so that they can begin preparing to face the victor in the second round.