MIAMI - Dwyane Wade was not in the lineup for the Miami Heat on Sunday, sitting out the reigning NBA champions' game with the Charlotte Bobcats because of right knee soreness.
The team did not believe the matter was serious, and it's possible Wade could be back in the lineup as early as Monday's game at Orlando.
"He got hit in the knee a couple games back and it is just sore, bruised," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "So we are going to be very proactive and get some treatment and hopefully he feels better (Monday). We'll see how it goes."
Miami took a 25-game winning streak into the matchup with the NBA-worst Bobcats. The Heat had been without Wade for four other games this season, once because of the flu, once because of a league-issued suspension and two others in November because of a sore foot.
Spoelstra said Wade has been dealing with the issue for several days, and that it reappeared after he collided with someone during Miami's game at Boston last Monday.
"He reaggravated it when he collided knees with somebody out there," Spoelstra said. "It was just sore and he has been playing through it and it just hasn't been getting better but we think rest and treatment will fast-track that."
Wade is averaging 21.5 points on 52 per cent shooting for the Heat this season. During the winning streak, Wade is averaging 22.8 points, 5.8 assists and 5.6 rebounds on nearly 54 per cent shooting.
Mike Miller was in the starting lineup in Wade's place. Miller — one of the stars of last year's title-clinching Game 5 victory over Oklahoma City in the NBA Finals, making seven 3-pointers — has been largely out of the rotation this year, but Spoelstra chose to start him Sunday in order to keep the team's rotations as unaffected as possible.
"He knows what he signed up for and it has been communicated quite a bit," Spoelstra said. "Those guys have to continue to work their bodies and stay mentally sharp and Mike has done a very good job at doing that. He spends a lot of time working on his shots and conditioning to stay sharp."
For the Bobcats, Josh McRoberts (left shoulder strain) was out, replaced in the starting lineup by Byron Mullens.