The Miami Heat have made it through the past three games without Dwyane Wade, maintaining their status as the NBA's top team through the season's opening weeks.
Though the Heat haven't come out and said so, they might have to get used to the idea of playing without Wade.
Although he's officially listed as questionable for Tuesday night's road visit with the Golden State Warriors, Wade may have a case of plantar fasciitis in his bruised left foot that would potentially sideline him for much longer.
Both Wade and LeBron James have missed time with what initially appeared to be minor bumps and bruises as the Heat (8-1) have cruised to a fantastic start, but while James' sprained left ankle appears to be improving, Wade's foot may not be.
James returned after missing Thursday's 116-109 triple-overtime win at Atlanta to score 32 points in Saturday's 101-90 victory in New Jersey, but Wade missed his third straight contest.
Wade still hasn't returned to practice and is officially questionable for the remaining three contests of a five-game road trip, but a bigger issue arose Tuesday. Neither coach Erik Spoelstra nor the former finals MVP himself would deny that Wade was suffering from plantar fasciitis, a painful injury that can require weeks of rest to heal.
Golden State (2-6) had better hope Wade's injury requires at least one more day of rest. Wade has averaged 33.0 points and 9.5 assists while leading the Heat to six straight victories in the series, including 34 points during a 106-84 rout in Oakland on Dec. 10, 2010.
James, who added 25 in that victory, hasn't seemed fazed by Wade's absence or his ankle. He had 33 points, 13 assists and eight rebounds in a 118-83 rout of Indiana on Wednesday before scoring 22 first-quarter points against the Nets.
"If I feel like I'm good to go, then I'm going to go out and play my game,'' James said. "I'm not going to give no restriction, just try to do the things I do out on the court and I was able to get a couple of breakaways, some easy points, get to the free throw line and I was able to test the ankle out in the first quarter.''
While James' left ankle appears to be OK, the Warriors have plenty of reason to be concerned about Stephen Curry's surgically repaired right ankle. The third-year guard has missed the team's past two games with a sprain and will miss at least two more as he's currently on the East Coast undergoing further evaluation.
Golden State could certainly use him. After averaging 103.4 points last season, the Warriors are scoring just 89.9 per game thus far and have lost six in a row after falling 88-87 to Utah on Saturday.
"The great teams think, 'What's going to happen now to win this game?''' first-year coach Mark Jackson said. "The teams that have a history of losing think, 'What's going to happen that's been happening that's going to cause us to lose?'"
Monta Ellis has averaged 29.3 points in his last three games, but he's averaged just 19.3 in six career starts against Miami.
Center Andris Biedrins, dealing with a right ankle injury that's kept him out of the past two games, didn't practice Monday and is listed as day to day.