Since Dwyane Wade returned to Heat, Justise Winslow is playing the best basketball of his NBA career. Coincidence?

Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, right, and forward Justise Winslow, center, talk with Los Angeles Lakers forward Luol Deng, left, during warmups before the start of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, March 1, 2018, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

MIAMI — The addition of Dwyane Wade has helped the Heat in a lot of areas, both on and off the court. Just ask Justise Winslow.

The four weeks that have passed since Miami acquired Wade in a trade on Feb. 8 has included the best basketball of Winslow’s young NBA career. The 21-year-old is averaging 12.1 points on 52.5 percent shooting from the field and 55 percent shooting from 3-point range, 6.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.9 steals over the past seven games entering Saturday’s matchup with the Wizards.

“If you line up the days and the numbers, I think yeah, I’ve been playing a little better since he’s been back,” said Winslow, who averaged 7.8 points on 38.4 percent shooting from the field and 32.6 percent shooting from 3-point range in 59 games while Wade was away.

Why has Wade’s presence helped him? Winslow doesn’t have a concrete answer, but he just knows it has.

“I think just that first game back, the arena was electric and you could feel the energy, the energy in the city,” Winslow said, referring to Wade’s first game back with the Heat in a win over the Bucks on Feb. 9. “Good vibes, positive vibes, a lot of laughs in the locker room with him. I think it’s just a good energy, to be honest, of having him back.”

After Thursday’s victory over the 76ers, Wade posted a photo of himself and Winslow with the caption: “I left my little bro a year and a half ago and neither of us was ourselves but we back at it. Love this kid. Keep shining little bro.”

It’s a relationship that Winslow values after leaning on Wade as a Heat rookie in 2015-16. And they’ve been an effective tandem so far, as the Heat have outscored opponents by 33 points in 105 minutes with this duo playing together this season.

“He was here my rookie year, so he was kind of our vet, along with a lot of other guys. But him in particular, I remember the first year after practice, we would get a little work in, shoot free throws together, so that’s kind of how we built the relationship,” said Winslow, who Miami selected with the 10th overall pick in 2015. “So having him back has been great. Just brings a lot of experience, that veteran leadership that we kind of need, this unit needs. It’s been great having him back.”

And Wade has already noticed a different Winslow than the 19 year-old he played with two seasons ago.

“One thing I like about that’s different is in [Washington on Tuesday] something happened defensively and Justise, when we was in a timeout, Justise told me that he needed to hear my voice to let him know that I was the low man,” Wade recalled. “I was like, ‘Alright, I like that.’ That’s the growth. My first time around when he was a rookie, he wouldn’t have said that so he’s definitely grown. He’s taken charge of his game.”

Coach Erik Spoelstra believes Wade’s presence has been part of Winslow’s emergence.

“His big brother coming back and Justise wanting to show him how much he’s improved,” Spoelstra said. “Dwyane has that quality where he instills a lot of confidence in young players and feel like they can do more and be more. Great players do that.”

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