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Will Dwyane Wade Reclaim His Place Among the NBA's Unquestioned Elite?

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Will Dwyane Wade Reclaim His Place Among the NBA's Unquestioned Elite?
Chris Trotman/Getty Images
If his knee's right, Wade can get back to his aerial assault.

Through Tuesday's 120-107 victory against Boston, Dwyane Wade took plenty of very different steps than he took at the end of last season.

They were forward.

They were fast.

They were sure.

While this wasn't Wade's most efficient performance—he shot 10-of-22 for his 29 points—the night was a welcome sight to Heat teammates and supporters. It was an extension of the preseason, when the Heat guard appeared surprisingly explosive on his surgically-repaired knee.

Erik Spoelstra, who was Wade's assigned assistant for five seasons and has been his head coach for the past five, has repeatedly told reporters that Wade "is way ahead of schedule," while praising Wade's decision to address the knee, skip the Olympics and stay in premium shape. This comes after Wade and Spoelstra publicly aired some grievances during the 2012 championship run.

In 2011-12, Wade took a step back behind LeBron James in the Heat's pecking order.

Now, months from turning 31, is the eight-time All-Star capable of reclaiming a spot among the NBA's top 10, or even five, players?

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