Dwyane Wade was off the court, perfecting the art of taking scoop shots from underneath a side basket and getting them to fall through the net without touching the rim.
That'll be the extent of his basketball work for the next week or two.
Wade's ailing right hamstring was no better on Wednesday, one day after his pre-season debut was cut short following a stint that lasted a mere three minutes 17 seconds. Sore when he went to bed after the game, sore when he got up Wednesday morning, sore as the day went along.
"Today is the first day of the road to recovery," Wade said as his teammates finished practice.
He walked stiffly Wednesday, but was on his feet for an extended period of time, which some in the gym took as a good sign. There's still no clear indication how much time Wade will miss -- coach Erik Spoelstra said he'll be re-evaulated in a week, Wade is bracing to miss up to two weeks, LeBron James said it might be a few weeks before quickly adding "if less."
Spoelstra said he thought Wade would receive an MRI; Wade said no test was scheduled. The only thing everyone is on the same page on is perhaps the most important thing: If an injury is going to strike, it may as well happen now before the grind of the 82-game season -- and, the Heat hope, well beyond -- finally begins.
"They assembled the team the right way," James said. "The front office and coach Spo and Pat [Riley, the Heat president], they assembled the team the right way for the long haul. Right now, we've got a guy out, a great player that's out right now and probably be out for a few weeks, if less. And we've got guys who can step up."
Wade got hurt while trying to defend Detroit's Richard Hamilton and running around a screen set by the Pistons' Ben Wallace. As Wade ran toward the foul line from the low post, he grabbed the hamstring, motioned to the bench, then reached again for the back of his leg with his right hand.
When the ball came his way after a deflection off Tayshaun Prince's foot, Wade wouldn't stop reaching for the leg. He scooped up the loose ball with his left hand and -- in one motion -- tried throwing a 45-foot pass to James heading down the other end in transition, still tugging at his hamstring with the right. The ball went out of bounds moments later, and Wade limped to the bench.
"Hopefully it's not too bad," Spoelstra said. "Right now, we'll treat it, hoping it responds quicker."
Wade will travel with the Heat later this week for pre-season games at Kansas City (against Oklahoma City) and San Antonio this weekend, but will not play.
"I know the offence, I know the defence and I know these guys," Wade said. "Me fitting in, it won't be a problem at all. ... We're still building something here, off the court as well as on the court. We're getting to know everybody and I'm still a teacher. I can teach these guys and get my therapy while I'm there, so I wouldn't even think about not travelling."