By Marc J. Spears
Dwyane Wade's health is the biggest question lingering for the Miami Heat as they attempt to stave off the Indiana Pacers and a strong Western Conference to win their third straight NBA championship.
Wade came off the bench for the first time in 483 games on Sunday.
"The reality of it is you got to wait and see," Wade said after scoring eight points in 23 minutes during a 113-101 victory over the Spurs. "I'm not going to make a bigger deal of it than it is and I'm going to act like it's nothing. …People could think what they want. I'm continuing to work to make sure I'm at my best when I can be."
Wade has missed 12 games this season due to his knee.
"Look, I understand that everybody is going to use this as a lightning-rod subject to talk about for the next three days," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Nothing is set in stone the rest of the year. We're going to evaluate everything day to day. We need Dwyane healthy."
Wade has been resting for nine days and told Spoelstra he preferred coming off the bench.
"This team has been in a rhythm," Wade said. "I didn't want to mess that up."
The Heat may have difficult catching the Pacers for the top seed, but they won't need Wade much to remain as the No. 2.
"I'm not having to force things," Wade said. "I live under my own umbrella. I do things that make me happy and what's best for my team. I don't worry about forcing things right now. I got a bigger picture in mind and that's all I'm focused on right now."