ORLANDO, Fla. -- Dwyane Wade never thought this was going to be a walk in the park on the way to an NBA title, but he also never thought it was going to be this difficult, either.
His impatience is beginning to show.
The Heat (8-6) are coming into Wednesday night's game against the Magic after back-to-back losses, stung by the mounting criticism of their slower-than-expected start, but also a little baffled over why it has happened.
"It has been tougher than I thought,'' he said Wednesday after a morning practice. "We knew it was going to be a process, but I want to get that process going.''
Wade, who won a championship with the Heat alongside Shaquille O'Neal in 2006, was the catalyst for putting together the Three Kings of Miami, helping convince LeBron James and Chris Bosh to join him, but he didn't understand just how difficult -- until now -- it would be working together with two other stars.
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"It's hard on Chris, and LeBron, and me some nights to get used to not being as involved on one end as much as you're used to,'' he said. "We can't let them control the stamp we put on the game. It's going to take some time to figure out. For now, let's use our greatness, our talent, to win these games until we can figure it out.''
Wade has been struggling with a sore wrist, making only 1 of 13 shots in the loss against Indiana. He sat out the loss to Memphis, and he made only 4 of 13 shots in the previous victory against Charlotte. Their play has been disjointed and lacking any rhythm lately.
All three are averaging dramatically fewer points than they did last season playing individually. Wade has gone from 26.6 points to 21.4 points per game. James has dropped from 29.7 points to just 23.5 points. Bosh has slipped from 24 points to 17.4 points.
"I knew it wasn't going to be a bed of roses, that it would take time to get comfortable. Me and LeBron are similar players,'' he said. "I'm on the court thinking, 'Bron hasn't touched the ball in awhile, I've got to get it to him.' Or he's thinking, 'Wade hasn't touched the ball, get it to him.' It just changes the way you normally play. It's a different mindset. It changes a lot, and we're still getting used to it.''
The Heat also are now without two reserves -- Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem -- who they thought would play key support roles. Wednesday will be the first game for center Erick Dampier, who was signed Tuesday.
"This is unusual, never been done, players in their prime (coming together). It's been different than you'd expect,'' Wade said. "But this isn't the Olympics, not nine, 10, 11 games. It's a season. The only thing you see is that we have potential to be dominant. But it's getting to that potential to be dominant. How do you get there? It's tougher than you thought.''