Dwyane Wade finding time to relearn Heat’s system, get to know new teammates and enjoy Miami

The Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade (3) reacts after blocking a shot in the fourth quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on February 9, 2018. (David Santiago/El Nuevo Herald/TNS)

MIAMI — Dwyane Wade still has to remind himself and his family that this is not a dream. Wade is a member of the Miami Heat.

“I sent my wife a video. My wife is back working. I sent that video of me outside,” Wade said Monday. “I said, `This is not a dream. This is real. This is really happening.’ It definitely feels good.

“I was just talking to Alonzo [Mourning]. Even being back in this gym, this is the environment that I grew up in. So everything feels right. It feels comfortable. I’m even making free throws in here that I wasn’t making. Just trying to get back comfortable and get used to the team. I love the way they play. I love how its kind of equal offense here with these guys. So it’s going to be a fun style of basketball to play.”

Wade’s return became even more real Monday when he went through his first official practice with the Heat since being traded to Miami last week. He will experience his first road trip with the Heat (30-26) this season when they travel to take on the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday and the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday.

“I was playing against him,” center Hassan Whiteside said when asked how Wade looked in Monday’s practice. “He was posting up the guards, making great decisions, finding Wayne [Ellington] open in the corner. He’s very patient, man. You can’t speed him up. A lot of guys get sped up, turn the ball over. He always plays at a nice pace, kind of like James Harden.”

Wade also practiced his 3-point shot for part of Monday’s practice, a part of his game that he didn’t use much in his first 13 seasons with the Heat. He averaged 29.7 made 3-pointers per season during that time in Miami.

“When I left the first time to Chicago, coach [Fred] Hoiberg kind of put in my mind to shoot and we worked on [3-pointers] a lot,” Wade said. “I did the same at Cleveland. I didn’t get to shoot it as much. I shot it more in Chicago. Since I got back here, [Heat player development coach Eric Glass] and the assistant coaches have been telling me to shoot them. I’m not Wayne Ellington. I’m not looking to be Wayne Ellington. But I definitely can make some shots, especially when I get in a good rhythm. So, I’m probably shooting them more than when I left.”

Considering Wade is a three-time NBA champion and a 12-time All-Star, Wade hasn’t had a problem earning the trust of his new teammates.

“Look I don’t know how to say the word, but I know it when I see it — panache — that’s what Dwyane has with this group,” coach Erik Spoelstra said after Monday’s practice. “Cache that brings everybody else to a higher level just with his presence. That’s probably the impact that he’s had. The other night, that felt different and unique to me having Dwyane back like that. But today, having him back at practice and around the guys that felt 1,000 percent normal. It felt like it did two years ago.”

But Wade’s role will likely be different than it was two seasons ago, which is the last full season he played with Miami. He averaged 19.0 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.6 assists in 30.5 minutes per game in 2015-16.

Wade probably won’t get as much playing time with the Heat this season. But how many minutes will he get consistently? That’s still to be determined.

With the Heat already using a nine-man rotation, and Rodney McGruder and Kelly Olynyk moving closer to a return from their respective injuries, Spoelstra has a few challenging rotation decisions ahead of him.

“I don’t know. I’ll have to get there when we’re healthy,” Spoelstra said of Wade’s minutes. “Right now I can’t answer those questions and that’s what I’ve told the guys. Just give to the team. The strength of our team is when we utilize our numbers and our depth. But we can’t really fully get to work on our rotation with Kelly out. So right now it’s contribute, help us win and clear your mind. You don’t have to worry about exact rotation down the stretch right now.

In his first game back with the Heat in Friday’s win over the Bucks, Wade recorded three points on 1-of-6 shooting, two rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks in 22 minutes in a bench role. Spoelstra said Wade will continue to be used off the bench for now after he played as the backup point guard in his season debut with the Heat.

“Man, I think he definitely can add a different aspect with his ball-handling,” Whiteside said. “I think the days where he’s playing 30-plus minutes, we don’t really need that. But the minutes he’s out there, he definitely can contribute in a lot of aspects other than scoring.”

Along with helping facilitate the offense, Wade will also be looked at as a coach on the court. That’s a role he’s comfortable in.

“I always have been,” Wade said of being an extension of the Heat’s coaching staff. “Ever since the Michael Beasley, Mario Chalmers, Daequan Cook era. I was forced into it. The first game [Friday], it was crazy. I didn’t get a chance to get in practice or learn anything. Having yesterday, having today, I definitely feel way more comfortable and looking forward to giving that knowledge when I can, especially on the floor, on the bench, in the locker room, whichever way possible.”

Along with taking the past few days to relearn the Heat’s system and get to know his teammates, Wade has also found time to enjoy Miami with the help of the sun and his pool.

“I got a little darker. I definitely tanned yesterday,” Wade said. “We came in here, worked hard and I went home and I laid out about two hours and tried to get my color back.”

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[Photos: Dwyane Wade returns to Miami Heat]

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