Dwyane Wade is no longer in control.
Throughout the Miami Heat guard's brilliant career, he's been able to dictate to offenses and defenses to get where he wants, when he wants.
Now, though, he is at the mercy of his bruised right knee. It decides what he can do, when he can do it and how much it will hurt.
That much has been evident during the Heat's past six playoff games—he played in five of them—in which he has scored a total of 49 points.
That's 9.8 per game. There was a time when he could regularly score 9.8 per quarter.
In Game 4 against the Chicago Bulls, he winced and recoiled after knocking into Jimmy Butler's right knee. And while he returned, played decent defense and even had a dunk, he didn't consistently demonstrate the explosiveness for which he's become known.
“Sometimes it feels good, sometimes it doesn’t,” said Wade, who spends every off day getting hours of treatment. “Just try to go out there and continue to do what I can.”
That's all he can do for the foreseeable future, since healing is unlikely until the offseason.
So, what does this latest ailment do to the Heat, both in the short- and long-term?
Note: All quotes for this piece were collected through the course of the author's coverage of the Miami Heat for the Palm Beach Post.