One of the reasons the Ray Allen signing was such a coup for the Heat is concern about Dwyane Wade's left knee, which required arthroscopic surgery July 9th and forced him out of the Olympics. Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel rounded up Wade's comments about his recovery as he makes the rounds to promote his book, "A Father First: How my life became bigger than basketball." Winderman also has a few more tidbits from the defending champs today, and we'll pass them along here:
- Wade was optimistic during his appearance on "The View," saying, "I'm doing great. I'm ahead of schedule. The knee's OK, so I'm ahead of schedule," as Winderman notes. Wade was more cautious in his remarks to a Houston radio station, and indicated it could be a while before he's 100%. "That's my goal, to be full strength," Wade said. "Obviously, coming off surgery, even in the beginning of the year, [the goal is] to continue to work your way into things and hopeful hit your stride some point midseason, where you feel your best."
- Coach Erik Spoelstra, who turned up the tempo last season, spoke on WQAM's Jorge Sedano Show today and said he'll try to get the team to play even faster this year, as Winderman notes. Spoelstra also shared his excitement about adding Allen to the mix. "He's a Hall of Fame-type catch-and-shoot player," the coach said. "We haven't had that element before in our offense. So it's been a lot of fun, trying to X-and-O and come up with new ways to get him open. I don't want to overthink it. I don't want to totally change what we do, but that's a great element to have, that type of weapon."
- In the same interview, Spoelstra also gave his take on the moves that the Lakers and other teams took to try to knock the Heat from the top of the mountain. "We knew this would be a big summer, one way or another, that there were a lot of teams out there with money, that had an opportunity to make big moves, and some teams did, some teams did improve," Spoelstra said. "The Lakers certainly did, and that's going to make it all the more fun."
- A third point guard would provide insurance in case either Mario Chalmers or Norris Cole misses any time this season, but the Heat seem willing to experiment with Terrel Harris in that role if the need arises, Winderman says in his mailbag column. Harris remains unsigned, but he's in talks with the Heat about a return.