Wade Back Too Early?

As much as the Miami Heat looked forward to Sunday night, it could not have turned out much worse.

Following his long-awaited but mediocre return to action, Dwyane Wade may be back in the starting lineup Tuesday, but an embarrassing incident could keep a teammate out of it when the Heat close a home-and-home set with the Charlotte Bobcats.

Wade hadn't played in six weeks due to a dislocated left shoulder, an injury that was originally believed to be potentially season-ending, but he returned Sunday and came off the bench against the Bobcats.

Oddsmakers have made Charlotte -1 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 190 total points (View NBA Sports Books). Our public betting information shows that 76% of bets for this game have been placed on Miami +1 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

The reigning NBA Finals MVP looked rusty, going 3-of-9 from the field and 6-of-12 at the foul line for 12 points, and Miami (42-35) lost 111-103 in overtime at home to a Charlotte team that entered with the NBA's fifth-worst record.

"It's exciting to get back, but at the end of the day, you always want to win. You always want to come back and help your team win," said Wade, who had eight assists but committed six of the Heat's season-high 26 turnovers. "I came back and at times, I looked OK and at times, I didn't."

The news got worse for the Heat later in the night after they learned starting forward James Posey was arrested on a drunken driving charge. Posey, pulled over for stopping in the middle of a road, displayed "bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath," the police report said. He was released on $1,000 bond.

It's uncertain if Posey will travel with the team for Tuesday's game. He had been playing well, averaging 10.8 points and 6.7 rebounds - well above his season totals - over the last 13 contests.

The Heat have won 12 of 18 since Posey joined the starting lineup last month.

Miami was 16-7 during Wade's absence and had its three-game winning streak stopped Sunday. The loss hurt its chances of catching Toronto for home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

"We have to come out and play hard every night, especially at this time of the year where we're fighting for playoff seeds," said Miami's Jason Kapono, who had 19 points. "To let a game slip away here at home is frustrating."

The good news, though, was how Wade felt after the game. Wearing a black sleeve to help protect his shoulder, he took his share of contact and said he played without pain.

"I was a little worried at first, but once I took my first hit, I wasn't worried anymore," Wade said. "I was trying to get my conditioning more than anything. My shoulder felt good. I still didn't do a lot of things that I normally do."

The Bobcats (31-47) don't want to see him back to normal. Wade had a combined 62 points and 24 assists while shooting 20-of-31 from the field (64.5 percent) in the previous two meetings this season.

Besides ending a seven-game losing streak to Miami, Charlotte won for the fifth time in seven games overall Sunday.

While Gerald Wallace has been dominant during that stretch with 26.9 points and 10.1 rebounds per game, unheralded rookie forward Walter Herrmann has been making a significant contribution. The 28-year-old native of Argentina has averaged 18.6 points in eight games since joining the starting lineup.

Wallace scored 30 points and Herrmann hit two big 3-pointers in the final minute of overtime Sunday to lift Charlotte to its fourth victory over a winning team in its last five attempts.

"I am getting a lot more confident with my minutes being increased. I am feeling very comfortable in the system," Hermann said. "I am just playing basketball and just enjoying it."

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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