TORONTO – Dwyane Wade’s role is not going to change in the near future, which means he’ll be in a familiar spot – playing point guard and coming off the bench.
Much has changed in Wade’s career recently and more than just playing for three teams in the last five months.
Wade, 36, has played point guard much more than other position this season, which started in Cleveland (after being bought out by Chicago in September) before landing back with Miami on Thursday. And his primary role has been as a key reserve.
In 46 games with the Cavaliers, Wade was at the point 80 percent of his minutes. He played the position all 22 minutes in his return to Miami on Friday.
“I’ve done it for a long time so whether I’m handling to make plays or whether I’m off the ball to be a scorer and also a playmaker, I’m used to it,” Wade said today as the Heat prepare for tonight’s game at the Raptors.
“Whatever is called for, whoever is in the game, whatever coach needs me to do, I’m capable of doing both.”
Wade played more than half his minutes (55 percent) at point guard his rookie season. But since 2006-07 the most he’s played the position was 16 percent in 2015-16.
In his career, he has spent 81 percent of his minutes at shooting guard, 15 percent at point guard and 4 percent at small forward.
Playing the point in Miami means coming off the bench as Goran Dragic’s backup, the role in which coach Erik Spoelstra will continue to use Wade. … until he doesn’t.
Spoelstra was asked today if he is thinking at all about starting Wade.
“Not right now,” he said. “But I’m always open to anything wherever the course of this season goes.
“You’re bringing a Hall of Fame talent off the bench that really helps your depth and dynamic.”
Wade had started all but 11 of his 1,087 games, including playoffs, entering this season. But he has come off the bench in his last 44 games, the first 43 in Cleveland.
Wade says everything changes when coming off the bench, including preparation and what is asked of a player.
“Coming off the bench it changes more than starting,” Wade said. “Starting you got to know this is what they expect of me. Coming off the bench it definitely varies. Depending on if I’m handling it (or) if I’m at the two, whatever the case may be, you never know what it is.
“It really doesn’t matter to me. I’m not concerned with any of that. I’m just concerned with helping this team be a better team, get wins. I’m trying to get familiar with everything, trying to get in better shape with this team and with the stuff that they run. So. I’m not really concerned with night-to-night what it would be.”