Dwyane Wade has had his problems this season, on the court with his shooting and handling injuries that have kept him off the court for nine games so far, but his recent form, since coming back on January 27 against the New York Knicks, averaging 23.6 points, has Miami Heat fans smiling.
There was that rough performance against the Chicago Bulls, but the Heat won that one, 97-93, and all that people remember from that game is LeBron James’ dunk anyway. Wade, and LeBron for that matter, have changed their game quite a bit this season, and while LeBron has been the best player in the league so far this season, Wade, partially due to his injury, is finding it harder to make the adjustment.
Well, for now, he seems OK, and 100% fit. He led the Heat with 26 points in their 107-91 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, and has scored over 20 points in his last five outings. Consistency both with scoring and with his field goal percentage that wasn’t there during the first month of the season.
And then there’s that weird stat regarding three pointers. Preview – Wade attempted 206 shots from outside the arc in 2010-2011, finishing the seasons with a 30.6% success rate. This year? Only 7 attempts, not making one of them. James has also been shy about jacking up threes, taking only 42 so far this season, but making 17 of them, a rather surprising 40.5%. But LeBron is in a bit of a different dimension many nights this season.
The Heat are a better team, or look like one. More aggressive, with both players trying to score more from the paint. And while Wade isn’t putting up the numbers James is or he was in previous seasons (so far 21.3 points per game), Chris Bosh and a seemingly deeper squad is picking up the slack.
But Wade seems to be finding his mojo again. Last five games? 51.8% from the field and getting more to the line. His turnovers have also started to drop, something that was quite of a problem earlier on this year. Despite the perception, 66 games is still a long season. The 21-5 Heat are in for at least one more downward spiral, hopefully a short one for the big three.
If LeBron James keeps whatever he’s doing going, and Wade has really put the troubled start behind him, the Miami Heat have to be the team to beat in the East and the league, despite the Thunder currently owning the best record in the league.