Dwyane Wade's sudden decline and inconsistent play were shocking during the 2013 playoffs, and now, his offseason is shocking once more.
Just...in a very different way.
Plagued by knee troubles that stemmed from tendonitis and recurring bone bruises, Wade has turned to OssaTron shockwave treatment, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
Below, you can see exactly how the treatment works, but the general principle is that it's a non-invasive procedure using shockwave treatment that has a remarkably high success rate.
As Winderman reports, Wade seems to feel like he's going to be part of the group that claims success after such a treatment:
Feeling a lot better. I'm not at 'great' yet. I'm feeling a lot, lot better. Right now I have to work on the strengthening part of it. So, I still have time before the season. By the time the season [starts], I think I'll be as good as I've been.
The recovery time for such a procedure is typically about a month, and Wade's four weeks are just about up. He'll continue to rehab and should be ready to go by the start of the 2013-14 campaign after easing himself back in during training camp and preseason action.
It's a different treatment than the typical surgical procedures used to treat knee issues, but the NBA's premier stars are no strangers to unorthodox methods of healing.
Take Kobe Bryant, who recently went to Germany to fix his knees before having a remarkably great offensive season.
The Heat would presumably be thrilled with a resurgent Wade after he averaged just 15.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game on 45.7 percent shooting from the field during the team's championship run.
It was a far cry from vintage Wade.
His entire postseason was plagued by injuries, and he even had his knee drained before Game 7 of the NBA Finals. In fact, Wade thought about playing limited minutes in a crucial game against the Indiana Pacers, according to a report by The Associated Press (via ESPN).
Wade also received platelet-rich plasma therapy late in the regular season to combat three bone bruises around his right knee, which was his biggest source of frustration and pain during the playoffs. Wade said two of the bruises healed, but a third -- directly under the kneecap—remained a big problem, especially since that area was also affected by tendinitis.
Wade underwent an MRI to rule out additional problems during the East finals against Indiana, and said he was driving into a meeting with Heat coach Erik Spoelstra before Game 7 of that series—not long after saying in the immediate aftermath of the Game 6 loss to the Pacers that he needed the ball more—to tell him that he felt he should only play short minutes because his ineffectiveness was hurting the team.
This shock treatment is far more obscure than plasma therapy, but it may be able to delay the inevitable decline of the future Hall of Famer.
The Heat need everything they can get out of Wade as they attempt to dominate the NBA for a third season in a row and complete the first three-peat since the Los Angeles Lakers in the early 2000s. With the Eastern Conference getting increasingly strong (both at the bottom and the top), the burden may be too much for LeBron James to shoulder by himself.
The Heat are undoubtedly limited more by a non-healthy Wade, even if Miami played better when he was on the bench during the postseason run.
Wade's knee has been largely overshadowed by the possibility of James opting out of his contract at the conclusion of the 2013-14 campaign, but the two are inherently linked. A departure from the league MVP would be much more likely if the Heat underperform, and they'd be much more likely to underperform without a healthy 2-guard.
And that departure would be truly shocking.