The Miami Heat decided to cancel practice as well as their media session today, looking to regroup after an embarrassing 94-75 loss last night to the Indiana Pacers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals.
More concerning than the loss, however, was the on-court blowup of superstar Dwyane Wade.
During the third quarter last night Wade had a heated exchanged with head coach Erik Spoelstra after, according to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, Spoelstra told Wade he was “playing like garbage.” Wade than began yelling at his coach, and at one point the two were face-to-face before Wade had to be restrained by veterans Juwan Howard and Udonis Haslem.
Spoelstra looked to downplay the event after the game, telling reporters, “Anybody that has been part of a team or has been a coach or been a player, you have no idea how often things like that happen. That was during a very emotional part of the game. We were getting our butt kicked. Dwyane and I have been together for a long, long time. We’ve been through basically everything.”
Haslem’s comments to ESPN after the game seemed to confirm Stephen A.’s explanation of what set off the exchange between Wade and Spoelstra.
“We’ve got a lot of alpha males in this locker room, on this team,” he said. “We’re going to encourage each other and get on each other’s case when need be. But it’s all constructive criticism. I don’t think it’s personal with anybody. Emotions get high. It’s the playoffs.”
Wade blew off the question regarding the altercation, saying simply, “I don’t even remember what y’all talking about.”
Wade’s struggles didn’t begin in the third, as from opening tip last night he looked uncomfortable and out of sorts. He missed 11 of his 13 shots and was outscored by offensively inept Joel Anthony. Wade’s frustration was blatant, and his lack of energy and burst led many to question his health.
“At this point of the season, no one is 100 percent,” Wade said.
With Chris Bosh scheduled to be out 2-4 weeks, that’s probably the last thing Miami fans want to hear.