He’s doing it to them again.
Five years later, Dwyane Wade is once again becoming the Dallas Mavericks’ worst nightmare in the NBA Finals. Largely due to favorable matchups, the Heat have turned to DWade late in games to bring it home for them, and he has.
This has predictably led to some pretty awful (and wildly incorrect) assumptions from certain members of the media about Wade’s teammate, LeBron James, but the truth of the matter should be obvious to anyone who has ever watched the NBA for more than 10 minutes: both Wade and James are doing exactly what has been asked of them, which is inching them ever closer to their first title together.
In the NBA Finals, Dwyane Wade has once again taken over the familiar role of team leader both on and off the court.
NBA.com has the quotes:
Wade only got to the line four times on Sunday, but he finished with 29 points on 12-for-21 from the field, hitting two of his four attempts from 3-point range. Before Bosh’s game-winner, Wade had the Heat’s previous three buckets, one off a post-up and two pull-up jumpers (one of them a trey) from the top of the key. “We allowed him to bring us home offensively,” [LeBron] James said.
“He played spectacular basketball,” [Chris] Bosh said of Wade. “He was aggressive and took good shots. We rode the wave for a little while. He set the tone for us.” For the series, Wade is averaging 29.0 points, 8.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists. He’s shooting 57 percent from the field and 6-for-15 from 3-point range. His scoring and free-throw attempts are down from the 2006 Finals (when he averaged 34.7 points), but he’s still the Heat’s go-to guy. And on Sunday, Wade wasn’t just making buckets. He was trying to get his teammates to come along for the ride. “He had every right to say what he said to me,” James admitted. “As a competitor, you love when guys challenge you. He challenged me in the locker room at halftime. He challenged me on the court. As a competitor, like I said, I respect that.” … Wade wanted this game, and he got it. “I’ve been here before,” he said.
The Miami Heat is using a tried-and-tested formula against Dallas in these Finals: play suffocating defense, and let Dwyane Wade carry the offense.
Sounds a lot like 2006, and looks like the Mavs still haven’t figured out how to overcome either obstacle.