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Wade's Silence Speaks Volumes

He still had nothing to say. At least not in any form of special message to his teammates. DwayneWade

A full day has passed, and I'm still not quite sure what to make of the silent treatment Heat guard Dwyane Wade offered his team after what easily was Miami's worse loss of the season.

Instead of slicing the tension in a frustrated locker room after Sunday's 28-point home loss to the Grizzlies, Wade chose to keep his mouth shut and his ears open. Perhaps he wanted explanations for why the hired help around him has been so inconsistent this season.

Perhaps he wanted answers. Or, perhaps he just simply had nothing to say.

Wade also took the silent approach in practice on Monday, with the team using its two-hour session to get in a film review of yesterday's game and also some on-court work to put behind the debacle that was its performance - or lack thereof - against Memphis. "I let the coaches come in and do their job," Wade said. "It was all coach speaking today."

The Heat has lost four straight games at home and is .500 for the first time this season. There is plenty of promise on this roster. Yet there are also numerous problems and shortcomings. But at the end of the day, the Heat is an average team playing .500 basketball.

Who actually is surprised by this? Yes, the losses at home are troubling. It's still hard to fathom a team being good enough to beat the Lakers in Los Angeles (before Kobe stole the game) yet bad enough to lose at home to four teams already that were in the lottery last season. But this is a 41-to-44 win team. And that's if just about everything breaks right for the Heat.

D. Wade tried to warn everyone that this was going to be the case this season. When Miami opened the season 6-1, Wade was probably the only one in the postgame locker room at the time who preached perspective and avoided all of the pride talk that flowed freely from other stalls.

When the Heat started off hot, Wade warned of the cold fronts this team would face throughout the season. When things cooled down during a 5-10 stretch that followed, Wade was the one pointing to the push for improvement and how better days were ahead.

WADE3 But he's never been a "rah-rah" type of leader. Not when he got here and fell under the wings of Lamar Odom, Brian Grant and Eddie Jones. He wasn't a vocal leader on the team that won a title in 2006 - not with mighty-mouth Gary Payton and a crew that consisted of Shaq, Antoine Walker, Alonzo Mourning and other veterans in the locker room.

And even as this team has been turned fully over to Wade, his leadership still isn't measured through words. That's just not him. He picks his spots in the locker room just like he does on the court.

I wouldn't go as far as to suggest that Wade's silence Sunday and Monday on the dress-down-the-team front is a diva act in which he's defining the line that exists between himself and the other 13 players now on the roster (Shavlik Randolph was cut Monday).

But I'm also not convinced that Wade's closed-mouth approach wasn't a slightly rebellious stand, either. When it comes to the Heat's roster, Wade had plenty to say early last summer. He pleaded for immediate help because he knew the burden of carrying an otherwise average team into the playoffs.

When Wade spoke up as the unquestioned leader of this team back in June and July, the response he got from Pat Riley was to sign the extension now, or hold on and wait until 2010 - either the Feb. trade deadline or July free agency - for a roster upgrade.

Wade knew there were serious limitations on this roster then. 

He's won't be the kind of guy to say "I told you so" now. There's still chemistry, respect and good times to be had on many levels. Heat-holiday

But Wade will measure his words when it comes to this team.

But you can't blame him for having little to say.

Because to Wade, it's show-me time.

(For live news, notes and updates on the Heat, follow me on Twitter @ twitter.com/wallacesports. To post a question or join our live Heat chat each Thursday from 1-2 p.m., click here.)


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