What’s Wrong With Dwyane Wade?
While 90% of the talk has been surrounding whether LeBron James will get his first NBA title, the lack of a clutch gene, his impressive NBA playoff run, and whatever else ESPN’s First Take chooses to discuss, the real story this season has been the inconsistency of Dwyane Wade. This particular season has been extremely alarming if you weren’t caught up with all the LeBron hoopla.
Wade averaged his lowest points per game since his rookie year. Yeah, you can say it was because of him allowing LeBron to be the #1 guy in South Beach, but the reality is that the wear and tear on Wade just might be slowing him down. He was well below his career average in free throw attempts per game (6.1 vs. 8.9), minutes played (33.2 vs. 37.2) and assists (4.6 vs. 6.2). The rigorous schedule is surely partly to blame, but this Miami team should have been the #1 seed. Instead, they are now struggling through an injury depleted Eastern Conference that they should have waltzed through. Yes, we know Chris Bosh is out of action, but if you look at how Wade has been playing, you can see that something just isn’t right. He struggles to have two consistent halves of basketball, and his latest vanishing act on Sunday night is perhaps the most alarming of them all.
In a game that Miami perhaps needed to win in order to shut the door on the Celtics’ NBA Finals hopes, Wade once again turned in an uneven performance. After helping his team chip away at the huge double digit lead in the 3rd quarter, Wade virtually vanished in the 4th quarter and overtime before ultimately dropping game 4 to the Celtics and allowing the season to be even at two games a piece.
You see, when it came down to it, Wade only took five shots in the fourth quarter and OT without LeBron by his side for most of the overtime period. That’s unacceptable for a player of Wade’s standards in a big game moment. Surely, many will come down on LeBron for the last play of regulation, but if Wade had done more than shoot 7-22, then we might not be having this conversation. It’s not like he didn’t have his opportunities to take the game over. He got a great look at the final shot to win the game after getting Marquis Daniels up in the air with a head fake. He struggled to find his shot and simply vanished when it mattered most.
Is there something else going on with Wade that we may not know about? His knee is definitely an ongoing issue but could it be worse than we think? Right now, the Heat need Wade to step up and play four consistent quarters of basketball if they hope to get back to the NBA Finals.
LeBron can’t do it by himself…
He already tried that in Cleveland…