Making peace with the pain continues to be a precipitous work in progress for Dwyane Wade.

But even as the Miami Heat star drags his troublesome right knee into Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals Wednesday against the Indiana Pacers, Wade no longer bothers with optimistic hopes and expectations.

He acknowledges the multiple bruises that have been a nuisance the past two months will no doubt continue to slow him. Wade also knows he won't be anywhere near 100 percent healthy for the remainder of the playoffs. So the reality is that he's essentially in a race against time.

“No matter what else I have going on, we've got one month left in the season,” Wade said. “It hasn't gotten better. It hasn't gotten worse. I've just got to go out there and hope I've got it in me to help us get eight more wins. That's all I really care about. That's all I'm worried about right now.”

Eight more postseason victories is what separates the Heat from their second consecutive NBA title. And to complete that mission, the next four of those eight wins must come against a formidable nemesis in a Pacers team that had the Heat stumbling and frustrated in last season's playoffs series.

Even with the 10-year veteran guard at far less than his best, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra is confident Wade will still have a major impact on the series against the Pacers. Part of that confidence stems from watching Wade score 18 points and provide a dominant burst in the fourth quarter as the Heat closed out the Chicago Bulls in Game 5 last week.