The Miami Heat will have to face the Charlotte Hornets in the playoffs, without Chris Bosh due to being unable to recover in time from a blood clot which has kept him out since the All-Star break.
When Bosh was gone, Dwyane Wade was the one that stepped up more to become a leader in the squad, and he knows without Bosh, he has a greater duty on Sunday in game one of an Eastern Conference first-round series.
"I know I've got a big responsibility as a leader of this team to help lead these guys," Wade said, according to NBA.com.
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"It's in a different way than I've done with other teams. So for me, it's about meeting the challenge. Some games I'll be the go-to guy or the scorer, some games I'll give guys confidence. There's going to be a lot of different roles I play."
Over the duration of this season, he has helped bring new players in, develop the skills of rookies, and create new breakout stars in the likes of Hassan Whiteside. He even played with shoulder pain in a blowout loss to Toronto last January.
"That's the toughness of Dwyane Wade," Spoelstra said: "Him playing that night sent a message about what it takes to be successful."
Wade always has high expectations for himself and for his team. Despite the dominance of the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, and the Cleveland Cavaliers, he believes the Heat are just as good.
"I look at the teams ahead of us and I say we're just as good as them. I truly believe it. We have to believe it as a unit. I'm waiting to see if we believe it," Wade said.
Heat's first test in the playoffs will be the Hornets on Sunday.