The Indiana Pacers have first-hand experience knowing just how dangerous Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade can be.
Which is why heading into game one of the Eastern Conference Finals Wednesday night in Miami, Indiana is preparing for a fully functioning Wade. It doesn’t matter if the All-Star has two good knees, one good knee, or even none at all.
“Expect his best,” said Pacers Head Coach Frank Vogel. “He had a great game five. When everybody was talking about that he was limited and what-not, he goes out and has a great game five. We expect the same type of effort in this series.”
Wade has been battling bone bruises on his right knee over the past several weeks that has seemed to have limited his play, but in game five’s fourth quarter against the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Semi-finals, Wade came alive. The two-time NBA champion scored six points in a three minute span, gathered crucial rebounds and blocks, and finished up with 18 points overall on the night.
Frank Vogel said the Pacers aren’t going to go out of their way in their game-plan to test out Wade’s knee in game one, but Indiana will be making Wade work on the defensive end no matter what.
“We are going to try to make those guys guard,” said Vogel. “We don’t want to give them a pass on the defensive end, so I don’t think there is going to be any more emphasis than that.”