Miami Heat Opener: Rose vs. Wade Knees

When the Miami Heat opens its season at home tonight at 8 versus the Chicago Bulls, most people will logically be watching the basket.

But the real game will be taking place at knee level.

Rose tore his anterior cruciate ligament 18 months ago. It was repaired by Brian Cole, the same doc who set Michael Jordan's broken foot in 1985. And we all know how that came out: multiple championships.

Wade's knees troubled him last year. He couldn't jump. That same inability showed up during the Nets game in preseason. He worked with another Chicago doc, Tim Grover.

Wade also lost about a dozen pounds, which he hopes will take some of the strain off those knees. Grover told Bleacher Report: For Dwyane, weight loss is a byproduct of his program, not the focus of the program," said Grover, author of Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable, which chronicles his work with Wade, Michael Jordan, and Kobe Bryant. "It's not about the number on the scale; it's about how that number is distributed so he can perform at his maximum ability. I don't want a skinny athlete; I want a fit, explosive athlete."

Rose contends his vertical leap has increased by five inches since the surgery. "I am way more explosive now," he says.

Wade, by contrast, told ESPN he regrets the 2002 surgery (when Rose was in middle school, by the way) that removed his meniscus. "My knee problems and the things I've dealt with started from that," Wade said. "That was [11] years ago, and technology was different, and the way you approach things was different."

Keep an eye on those knees tonight.

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