Wade’s Hip Is OK, Says He’s Not Worried For Game 6
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MIAMI (AP) – Heat guard Dwyane Wade thinks his bruised left hip will not be an issue for Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
Wade went through some of Miami’s practice on Saturday, took part in the regular team shooting games afterward and pronounced himself fully fit for Sunday night’s win-or-else game against the Dallas Mavericks. Dallas leads the best-of-seven series 3-2.
“He’ll be ready to go,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
Wade was injured in the first quarter of Game 5, retreating to the locker room for treatment and staying in for a second round after halftime before returning to the floor.
He finished Game 5 with a team-high 23 points.
“This is just another day of getting treatment and getting rest,” Wade said Saturday.
YOUNG FAN HONORED: At Game 6 of the NBA finals on Sunday night, the Heat will honor the memory of Henry Buchanan, a 7-year-old from Hollywood, Fla., who died Wednesday.
Health officials suspect meningitis as the cause, though tests are still pending.
Friends of Henry’s family reached out to the team Saturday with e-mails about how the boy would often wear Heat jerseys and played basketball whenever he could. The team invited his family to Game 6 and planned to show his photo on the video screen before the game.
Heat public address announcer Michael Baiamonte also planned to reach out to the boy’s family, since Henry was a fan of his in-game calls.
DIRK’S MUSIC: When the Mavericks visited Miami in 2006, Dirk Nowitzki was serenaded by cries of “Da-vid Hass-el-hoff!” — a nod to the fact that he said during those finals he listens to the actor’s music and that it was hugely popular in Germany.
A couple of the taunts have popped up this year, but that ’06 scene seems largely forgotten.
Maybe that’s because Nowitzki has a different taste in music.
Asked Saturday of his biggest musical influences, Nowitzki said he loves rock these days.
“I have played the guitar for a couple of years,” Nowitzki said. “I listen to old-school rock, Led Zeppelin, Stones, stuff like that.”
DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS: LeBron James has some Texas-sized struggles when visiting the Lone Star State for finals games.
He’s averaged at least 23 points in every building over his postseason career — except the ones in San Antonio and Dallas. James averaged 19.5 points in two games at San Antonio in the 2007 NBA finals, and 14 during three games in Dallas this year.
Those are also the only two cities where he shoots under 40 percent in the postseason: 39 at Dallas, 35 at San Antonio.
So far in Miami, there’s some comforts of home. He’s averaging 25.7 points on the Heat’s floor this postseason.
PACKING DILEMMA: When Miami took a 3-2 lead into Game 6 at Dallas in 2006, then-Heat coach Pat Riley packed one suit, one shirt and one tie for the trip, his way of telling his team that there would be no need for a seventh game.
Mavs coach Rick Carlisle is keeping what’s in his luggage a secret for this, the final road trip of Dallas’ season.
“I just don’t know that that’s the right way to go,” Carlisle said.
MILLER SURGERY: Heat forward Mike Miller confirmed Saturday that he will need additional surgery after the season to repair a ruptured tendon in his left thumb.
Miller broke his right thumb during the preseason, then hurt his left thumb late in the regular season. He also has dealt with an array of other injuries, but the left thumb will be his most pressing offseason concern.
BAREA FOR 3: The Mavericks likely did not expect four 3-pointers in Game 5 of the finals from J.J. Barea.
With good reason. He hadn’t made that many in a game all season.
Barea was 4 for 5 from beyond the arc in Game 5, after not making more than three 3s in any game this season — and to be fair, he only did that three times, one of those against Oklahoma City in the Western Conference finals.
The Heat might have been better off if Barea made five 3’s on Thursday. He’s done that twice in his career, and the Mavs lost both times.
BY THE NUMBERS: Scoring in the NBA will be down about 1 percent this season.
In 1,312 games last year, NBA teams scored a combined 263,091 points. Through 1,310 games this season, they’re at 259,925 — which works out, on average, as two fewer points per game.
Sometime next season, someone will score the 11 millionth point in league history. According to STATS LLC, when counting regular-season and playoff games, there’s been 10,905,991 points so far in NBA contests entering Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Sunday night.
STAT OF THE DAY: Dallas star Dirk Nowitzki has made 24 free throws in fourth quarters during this series. The Heat have made 22.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “This series is a long way from over. There’s a lot of basketball left. And we’re back home. We would rather have it here than anywhere else.” — Heat guard Dwyane Wade.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)