MIAMI – Dwyane Wade’s knee problems were more troublesome during the playoffs than he publicly acknowledged.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Miami Heat superstar Wade revealed Saturday his right knee pained him so much he contemplated asking to play limited minutes in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals against Indiana, and that his left knee was drained and required about eight hours of game-day therapy so he could play in Game 7 of the NBA Finals.
“I went through a lot,” said Wade, who became a three-time NBA champion when the Heat beat the San Antonio Spurs 95-88 Thursday. “But I’m at peace now.”
After an MRI that was done late in the Indiana series, Wade said the team’s trainers amended his treatment plan slightly, and he started seeing immediate improvement. He scored 21 points in the East-clincher against the Pacers, then scored a total of 57 points — his best two-game stretch of the playoffs — in Games 4 and 5 of the NBA Finals.
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But early in Game 6, Wade collided with the Spurs’ Manu Ginobili. Before long, Wade’s surgically repaired left knee, which kept him out of last summer’s London Olympics, had swollen up “like a coconut.”
He needed treatment during Game 6, even missing the start of the second half. Wade got a large amount of fluid drained from the knee Wednesday, then got more than three hours of treatment at the arena Thursday morning and about 4½ more hours of work done in the afternoon, going almost all the way up to the moment the Heat took the floor to warm up for Game 7.
Wade played 39 minutes, scoring 23 points on 11-for-21 shooting, in Game 7.
“Selfishly, I’m going to say we won this one for me,” Wade said.