Heading into Friday, the 41-35 Miami Heat haven’t quite clinched a playoff spot, but they’re on the verge of doing so in the near future.
Since the 35-40 Detroit Pistons won their game on Thursday, the seventh-seeded Heat are not yet in the clear.
Miami took care of business on Thursday, defeating the 24-51 Chicago Bulls to the tune of 103-92. Importantly, both Hassan Whiteside and Bam Adebayo returned from their injuries and the team was at full strength for the first time in weeks (at least on paper).
But, a key player played through some pain.
Dwyane Wade logged 18 minutes in his usual high-usage role off the bench, dropping eight points on 2-of-7 shooting to go along with three rebounds, four assists and three steals. He did so while battling the effects of a migraine.
According to Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel, Wade missed shootarouqd earlier in the day due to the migraine issue. Since the Miami legend has dealt with the ailment throughout his entire career, the timing is a bit alarming.
"I could explain it all day, but just know it's not a good thing. It affects more than just your head. It affects your body, it affects your energy, it affects your eyes. It affects your attitude, of course. So there's a lot of different levels of migraines. It's unfortunate,” he told ESPN last year as a member of the Bulls.
"If you haven’t experienced it before, you really can't understand. There's no rhyme or reason for it. I woke up to start getting ready and I woke up with a pounding headache. At that point you've gotta sit in the dark and take your medicine,” he said a few years ago during his first tenure in Miami.
Although he’s no longer a starter and has logged a ton of minutes throughout his career, head coach Erik Spoelstra has put a lot of faith in Wade as one of his go-to closers down the stretch of games. Rarely logging any minutes in the first and third quarters, Wade is frequently relied on to shoulder the offensive load when Goran Dragic is sitting in the second and as a key ball handler late in close games alongside the All-Star point guard and a couple other starters.
Despite the fact that Miami is not recognized as a contender this season, they’ll need a healthy Wade in order to shock anyone in the postseason.
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