Dwyane Wade's Health The Heat's Biggest Concern Following Game 4

Andrew Robeson@SportswriterguyAnalyst IIApril 28, 2009

MIAMI - APRIL 25:  Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat cheers his team on from the bench in the fourth quarter against the Atlanta Hawks during Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at American Airlines Arena on April 25, 2009 in Miami, Florida. The Heat defeated the Hawks 107-78. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

Game 4 was a loss for the Miami Heat regardless of the final score.

Dwyane Wade is hurt. Everyone who saw him play tonight knows it.

While there were numerous reports about what his injury was, his back according to Heat coach Erik Spoelstra or his legs and groin according to TNT sideline reporter Cheryl Miller, one thing was for sure; Dwyane Wade was not Dwyane Wade.

Even if the Heat manage to sneak past the Hawks into the second round, they will be gone in four games against the Cavaliers without a healthy Wade.

The good news is that there is time for Wade to recover.

The bad news is this injury seems more serious than anyone wants to let on.

Heat fans have seen this happen to Wade before. After the '04 Olympics he had these same tired legs. It is what happens after playing non-stop basketball for months on end.

TNT announcer Mike Fratello was quick to note that it looked like something was wrong with Wade's shots. They were coming up short, something he attributed to his "tired legs."

With Wade not playing like his normal self, the Heat quickly found themselves down 21 points.

Despite a furious comeback, headlined by two four-point plays by James Jones, the Heat found themselves with only 55 points entering the fourth quarter.

That is what happens when Wade is hurt; the Heat cannot score.

Every player Miami went to looked lost. Jermaine O'Neal failed to step up. Udonis Haslem, Michael Beasley, and Mario Chalmers all looked bewildered as Wade failed to make his usual shots. The only player who kept the Heat in it was James Jones.

Yes, James Jones. I am serious.

Wade found some semblance of his shot in the fourth quarter, but it all seemed a little too late.

The Hawks had their lead, and when Wade would make a shot they had no trouble matching him.

Miami are in trouble with Wade less than 100%. After Games 2 and 3, Heat fans were wondering how we would handle the Cavaliers.

Now the Heat will have to win in Atlanta again just to have a shot at the Cavaliers in Round 2.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.