Miami Heat take care of business without Dwyane Wade

USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat advanced to the second round of the playoffs on Sunday, despite star guard Dwyane Wade sitting out with injury. Wade should be ready to go when the Heat return to the court in the second round.

It was business as usual for the Miami Heat on Sunday afternoon, as LeBron James and Co. advanced to the second round of the NBA playoffs with an 88-77 series-ending victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.

But as Miami gets set for their second-round matchup with the winner of the Brooklyn Nets and Chicago Bulls series, a major question mark still lingers: The overall health of guard Dwyane Wade. Wade was held out of the Heat's victory on Sunday due to soreness from bone bruising in his knees.

The move was seen as cautionary in measure, but Miami coach Erik Spoelstra is still keeping an eye on Wade and the entire Heat roster going forward. Miami will have an extended layoff before their next series begins.

"The biggest focus will be on keeping ourselves physically ready," Spoelstra said following Sunday's victory. "You're used to playing every 48 hours or so (in the playoffs)."

And no player is of bigger concern than Wade, who has dealt with this same knee injury for the last several weeks. It kept him out of seven of the Heat's last 10 regular season games entering the playoffs, and also contributed to a disappointing 1 for 12 shooting performance from Wade in a Game 3 victory over Milwaukee last Thursday.

But in Wade's absence on Sunday, two key players stepped up to fill the void: Guards Mike Miller and Ray Allen.

Miller came off of the bench and stepped into a starting role, where he played 23 minutes, after playing just two total in the first three games of the series. Wade is expected to take the court when the Heat resume their playoff run, but if he's unable to go, look for Miller to remain in the starting lineup.

In addition to Miller, Ray Allen once again proved to be a difference-maker Sunday.

The veteran had 16 points including a pair of crucial three-pointers in the fourth quarter, the third time in four games that Allen scored in double figures against Milwaukee.

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