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The separated shoulder

The karma gods struck back!

My biggest worry after the all-star game was that the Heat were getting their mojo back.  But that was before Wednesday night, when Dwayne Wade separated his shoulder.  

Wade's currently considering season-ending surgery, and knowing the way Miami tries to hide their players' injuries, he's probably out for the rest of the season.  Even if Wade were to come back for the playoffs, it's no longer a guarantee that they'll even make it without him.  Personally, I wish the best for him, but as a basketball fan, I'm happy that, for once, we have a reason to thank Shane Battier for something.    

So what does this mean for the Heat?  Do the Wizards, and the rest of the Eastern Conference, have to worry about them anymore?  

Mavs Moneyball, after watching the Mavericks dismantle the Heat last night, says no.  

I saw Shaquille O'Neal unable to dominate on offense while he was being guarded by Austin Croshere. I saw Shaq miss an offensive rebound because he got boxed out...... by Jerry Stackhouse.

With Dwyane Wade likely having season ending surgery, the Heat are done. I'll be shocked if they make the playoffs. Oddly, seeing the team that denied Dallas their first Championship miss the playoffs would be both enjoyable and depressing.

Complete Sports agreed.

Who will create shots for the Heat? Jason Williams? Shaq? It's going to get ugly, because this is a bad team without Wade.

Bet the house, if Wade misses the rest of the season, the Heat will not win more than 35 or 36 games this year, and they will miss the playoffs, even in the weak Eastern Conference. To win 36 games they'd have to finish 10-19, and I really don't think they'll even be able to do that. You heard it here first.

Unsurprisingly, Eddie Jordan didn't feel overjoyed after hearing about Wade's injury.
"As much as you guys [reporters] might think that we're happy about it, we're not.  The guy has suffered a severe injury and we hope he gets well. We coached him in the All-Star Game and got to know him a little bit, so we hope he comes out pretty good."

Personally, I'm not ready to say the Heat are done, per se.  If your primary competition for the playoffs are the banged up Nets, the fading Magic, and the mediocre Knicks, it shouldn't be too hard to make the playoffs.  And contrary to Wes' opinion, I thought Shaq looked pretty good last night - he just missed a ton of easy shots.  As a whole, Heat shooters were missing a lot of open shots that I think they can make.  This isn't to say Miami is dangerous, because without Wade, they aren't going anywhere.  But they'll still be a playoff team in my eyes.

Bottom line though is that the Wizards probably don't have to worry about Miami taking the Southeast Division, and with a fairly easy schedule down the stretch, I think we can expect a top 3 seed.