NBA notes: Dwyane Wade sits out Heat’s preseason opener

Memphis Grizzlies' Jerryd Bayless, top, and Chicago Bulls' Jimmy Butler chase a loose ball during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game Monday, Oct. 7, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Memphis Grizzlies' Jerryd Bayless, top, and Chicago Bulls' Jimmy Butler chase a loose ball during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game Monday, Oct. 7, 2013, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

MIAMI — Dwyane Wade was in the starting lineup for the Miami Heat’s preseason opener. That is, until he decided he needed a night off.

Saying he was erring on the side of caution, the nine-time All-Star announced about an hour before game time that he would not be playing when the Heat faced the Atlanta Hawks on Monday. Wade was in coach Erik Spoelstra’s original lineup.

“He wants me to do what’s best for my body,” Wade said. “I’ve been practicing very hard, going very hard. I could play, but I just think it’s smarter that in consecutive days of going so hard, just be smart today, rest a little bit, let my legs recover.”

The Heat went on to beat the Hawks 92-87, with Chris Bosh scoring 21 points on 7-of-8 shooting to lead the way for the two-time defending NBA champions. LeBron James, the league’s four-time MVP, finished with nine points, five assists and five rebounds for Miami.

Wade dealt with an array of problems in the final months of last season, mainly a bone bruise and tendinitis in his right knee. He also had to have his left knee drained before playing in Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

Monday’s decision, he said, was done solely with maintenance in mind. Wade played in the team’s scrimmage Sunday night and worked out again in the morning before the exhibition opener.

“I’ve worked so hard, and I’m still working hard,” Wade said. “When you put work in you want to see some results, so coming to training camp and seeing the results of the work I’ve put in, working with Tim (Grover, his longtime trainer) all summer; that part was good. But outside of that, it’s a long season, and I want to stay healthy for the majority of the season and the playoffs. I’ve got a bigger picture in mind.”

Wade also said he was thinking about the preseason opener in 2010, the ballyhooed first time that he, James and Bosh were teammates in a Heat uniform. Wade said he felt some hamstring tightness before that game, and three minutes after tip-off, he left after popping that muscle a bit — an injury that slowed him for the remainder of the preseason.

“I do have that in mind, so I’m taking it a little smarter than before,” Wade said.

Trail Blazers

McCOLLUM NEEDS SURGERY: Portland rookie guard C.J. McCollum will need surgery after fracturing his left foot during practice.

It won’t be known how long McCollum will be out until after he undergoes the procedure. He was hurt Saturday.

McCollum was the 10th pick in the June draft out of Lehigh. He averaged 21.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists over four seasons and finished with 2,361 points, making him the career leader in the Patriot League.

The 6-foot-3 guard suffered a similar injury to his left foot his senior year at Lehigh.