Miami Heat: Don’t Count Out Dwyane Wade Just Yet
Don’t count Dwyane Wade out yet. Despite retirement looming large, he’s still got something left in the tank. The Miami Heat have benefited from his play in recent games. This isn’t unexpected, as Wade looks to cement his name as one of the best to ever play the game.
Wade has been selected to 12 NBA All-Star teams over his career. He knows a thing or two about being the alpha dog on a roster, evident by his 2006 NBA Finals MVP. Some criticized Wade in recent years for being too old, injury prone, and a bad teammate. He’s put all of those to bed and is the leader of a playoff-caliber Heat roster.
We might not be getting prime D-Wade. Although, the 2018-19 version isn’t too shabby. On the season, the veteran is averaging 15.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 3.5 assists. Take into account Wade’s age and the emergence of players such as Josh Richardson, Wayne Ellington, Rodney McGruder, Goran Dragic (when healthy), Hassan Whiteside, and Bam Adebayo. He’s got a lot of hungry players around him. Wade doesn’t need to be the alpha, rather the on-court and off-court leader.
The Miami Heat look at Wade as the glue that holds the team together. There are a select few players in the NBA that have this quality. Usually, it’s the aging vets such as Wade and Dirk Nowitzki. That’s the case in Miami. Wade is passing all of his knowledge and tricks of the trade on to his teammates.
The 2018-19 season might not even be at the halfway point, but Dwyane Wade is playing like it’s the playoffs. He hit two clutch free throws with 3.2 seconds left to cap off a 102-100 victory over the Utah Jazz on December 2nd. How many times have we seen D-Wade score the final points of a close game? Wade’s game has evolved this season as well.
Wade is shooting 4.1 three-pointers per season. (His previous high was 3.5 during the 2008-09 season) He’s also shooting a much more respectable .387 from beyond the arc. This is a monstrous step-up from his previous career high of .317. The days of slashing to the basket might be over. In fact, he’s settling into a role that’s more suited for a player with his durability concerns.
You can’t blame Wade for wanting to go out strong and leave a legacy. If that means altering his style of play to stay healthy and on the court, that’s what he’ll do. Wade is already a top-25 player of all-time. His last few years in Chicago and Cleveland were forgettable. He’s righted the ship with the Heat.
There’s never going to be another Dwyane Wade. He’s the greatest player in Miami Heat history. Nobody will ever take that away from him. The Heat will eventually retire his number, the city will idolize him, and the players will retain his knowledge. If this is indeed his final act, then what a conclusion this is.
How do you feel about Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat? Leave a comment below.
Stay with IroniqMedia for all of your NBA coverage.
Follow Daniel on Twitter [DanielTwitter]