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ASK IRA: Could Heat have envisioned needing Dwyane Wade this much?

Q: Dwyane Wade knew exactly what he wanted to add to his legacy when he dropped the mic for the final time. And he’s playing it perfectly. — Linda.

A: And yet this beyond-expectations final season by Dwyane Wade also is leaving me somewhat conflicted. Yes, he was superb when needed in the fourth quarter Monday night against the Hawks — albeit an effort that never should have been needed against that team. Yet, on the other hand, this also was supposed to be somewhat of a passing of the torch, of young players such as Josh Richardson and Justise Winslow growing through such moments of truth. Instead, it mostly has been Dwyane Wade or bust. Monday night, Wade took 17 shots, to 15 for Richardson, 12 for Winslow and nine for Dion Waiters. To a degree, it has become a case of whether teammates are giving Wade enough support. And that just sounds, well, odd, when it comes to a 37-year-old player. For now, it looks as if the Heat will simply ride the Wade wave the rest of the way, which, perhaps in some ways, is the fitting ending.

Q: Dwyane Wade has always been essential. I just hope he doesn’t run out of gas — C.D.

A: There was 31:12 of action Monday, more than three of the five starters, including Dion Waiters. The good news is there is ample time between games at the moment, with Erik Spoelstra giving the team Tuesday off. But the back-to-backs are coming, including Hornets-Thunder, Bucks-Wizards and then a season-ender of 76ers-Nets. So finding rest during games might have to become a consideration, as well.

Q: Not being a hater, I am streaming every minute of every game to watch Dwyane Wade. But it does make me think we’d have had a Top 3-5 pick if he had retired. We’d have been so bad. No regrets, love him. — S.B.

A: Ultimately, that might be the upshot, getting “One Last Dance” instead of one more lottery pick. Although both certainly remain within the realm. Follow him at or

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