Dwyane Wade may be adding a new playoff accessory: Goggles.
One day after missing practice with a migraine, Wade is expected to be with the Miami Heat on Monday night when they host the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 2 of an Eastern Conference first-round playoff series. Wade returned to the team for its morning practice, wearing lenses to protect his eyes while doing some light shooting.
"He is feeling better," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "He was wearing the shades. Guys were calling him 'Blade.' ... He's feeling significantly better from yesterday."
Wade played through a headache in Game 1 and scored 17 points, the last five coming in the final 94 seconds to help Miami seal the win. He told the team before Saturday's game that he was not feeling great, though he played 35 minutes in Game 1 without any obvious problems.
"Very encouraging," Heat forward LeBron James said after seeing Wade on Monday morning. "We want to be as close to full strength as possible."
The 76ers expected Wade to play, and coach Doug Collins even had some comedy ready for the news that the 2006 NBA finals MVP was back at practice.
"I have a set of cymbals that every time he runs by the bench, I'm slashing them," Collins said. "And I went out and bought the brightest flashlight I could find, and every time I get eye contact I'm shooting it at him. He's going to be great. He always is. He's a lot like (Michael Jordan). I think his mental capacity to fight through these things is off the charts and we expect him to be terrific."
Migraines have bothered Wade since his childhood, and have flared up at least twice this season.
He missed a Heat game against Toronto on Jan. 22 with the headaches, returning to the lineup five nights later in Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks sporting a pair of orange-tinted goggles to protect his eyes from light. Wade made 13 straight shots from the field in one stretch with the glasses, though he said afterward that he found them awkward at times.
If Wade, as expected, chooses to wear goggles again, he has a pair that the NBA has already approved. The league - which banned a pair Wade planned to use earlier this season in what Spoelstra lightheartedly dubbed "Goggle-gate" - said the lenses should not totally conceal his eyes from defenders, noting that would be an unfair advantage.
The migraines have typically shown up about once every couple years, which makes the issue even more befuddling for Wade, since he's never been able to identify the exact triggers. He missed a game in January 2005 with a migraine and many practices during college at Marquette with the problem, though never had to sit out for a headache before turning pro.
"He's as tough of a guy I've ever seen playing through sprains, bumps, bruises, hip-checks, all of these things," Spoelstra said. "A migraine is a completely different affliction. People who've never had one before, including myself, we can't relate. My father used to get them all the time and it's a scary ailment."