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Dwyane Wade returns to Heat's starting lineup, discusses his fit in the offense and why no one is waiting on Chris Bosh

After missing the first two games after the All-Star Break and seeing his teammates average 114.5 points in a pair of wins over the Hawks and Wizards, Dwyane Wade is back in the Heat's starting lineup Monday against the Pacers.

Wade said he got "very good news" from the MRI on his left knee and had two good days of workouts in preparing for his return. 

What was wrong? 

"I still don't know," Wade said. "Just 13 years in the NBA I guess."

The Heat have played like a different team without Wade and teammate Chris Bosh. They've raced up and down the floor behind point guard Goran Dragic and lit up the scoreboard.

"It's been fun to watch," Wade said. "I can't forget the defense because the defense is what starts everything, allows our offense to run. If the ball is going through the basket, you can't run. With the defense those guys have been playing, getting out, it's been allowing people to be free of the mind and just play. It's been great to watch. I love to see those guys get these opportunity and really seize it when I'm sure a lot of people didn't think they could. They did a helluva a job these two games. Their confidence going forward in the second half of the season is what we're going to need to put ourselves into a [good] playoff position."

Monday's game against the Pacers is big for that reason. Indiana owns a 2-1 lead and if they beat the Heat they'll own the head-to-head tiebreaker. Wade, though, said his return had nothing to do with that.

"When I was ready to go I was going to go," he said. "I was just trying to get out there. I didn't want to miss that many games this year at all. I'm a little bit under my quota of what I said was acceptable. So, I want to get there."

There's a feeling though the Heat, the second-lowest scoring teams in the league before the break, is better equipped to play a fast-paced style. Wade, who once ran up and down the court when LeBron James was his teammate, said he has no problem playing that style again. But he says it all starts with defense.

"It's nothing out of the ordinary. It's just they're getting stops," Wade said. "You get stops, you get out and go. I don't know why [pause]. I don't walk up the court. Someone has the ball and I'm up the court, they want to throw it up, fine. If not [pause]. It's all overthought, over-processed.

"These guys are just playing the style of basketball they needed to play to win two games and we want to continue to play that way. When they don't... what I am is a safety valve on this team. You need someone to go to -- that's why they pay me the big bucks, when CB is not here. But outside of that, I want my guys to be aggressive. I want them to get out. I want them to go. I want Goran Dragic to be Goran Dragic. I love it. If that's not going, if we're not getting stops, then you've got the old safety valve."

And how have the Heat held up so well without Chris Bosh?

"I think the one thing is we're not waiting to get the word on him," Wade said. "We're approaching this going forward with who we have in this locker room, whoever is ready to go. CB's been around. I talked to him. The way his personality is, what he gives to the team, no one has to worry about him. We check up on him. That's our brother. But we know he's going to do everything possible to get back on the court with us.

"[But we] can't wait on that. Just like the last two games, they couldn't wait on me. They went out there and played. I think a lot of people forget that out of 450 odd players in the league, that's what we are -- NBA players. Guys can play basketball, especially giving them an opportunity to do something a little different, outside of what they [normally] have to do. [There's] no waiting on CB. No one can replace CB, but guys have their own strengths. You've seen it the last two games."




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